Surface Area of a Cylinder Lesson Plan

Instructor: Marques Herrington

I have taught both middle school math and science for 10 years and I have a master's degree in education

This lesson plan derives the formula for finding the surface area of a cylinder. Students will work in pairs to practice using the formula to calculate the surface area of a cylinder.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Derive the formula for the surface area of a cylinder by combining the areas of two circles and a rectangle.
  • Calculate the surface area of a cylinder using the correct units of measurement.


  • 60-70 minutes


  • Math Journals/notebook
  • Cutout sheet of two identical circles and a rectangle, where the length of the rectangle is equivalent to the circumference of the two circles.
  • Formula derivation sheet for the surface area of a cylinder.
  • Surface area of a cylinder practice sheet (should consist of four cylinder problems; two that use whole number measurements, two that use decimal measurements)
  • Exit ticket slip
  • Class set of scissors
  • Tape
  • Printed copies of the lesson quiz

Curriculum Standards


Know the formulas for the area and circumference of a circle and use them to solve problems; give an informal derivation of the relationship between the circumference and area of a circle.


Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, volume and surface area of two- and three-dimensional objects composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, cubes, and right prisms.


Begin by giving students three warm-up problems on the board as they enter the classroom. Students should answer the questions in their math notebook/journals. These questions should review finding the area of a circle, the circumference of a circle, and the area of a rectangle. Make sure students are writing down the formulas for each of these. Go over the solutions to these questions to check for understanding of these concepts.

Pass out the cutout sheets of circles and rectangles, and instruct students to cut out both the circles and rectangle. Play the video lesson How to Find the Surface Area of a Cylinder and stop it at 1:10.

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