Surface Area Using Nets Activities

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 20 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

Having fun in math is important for keeping your students actively engaged in the lesson. This asset offers multiple fun, engaging activities to help your students learn how to find surface area using nets.

Activities Support Learning

Allowing your students to engage in fun activities to explore your current subject in a stress-free manner will help them solidify their understanding of what they have learned. This is true in all subjects, including math. The activities offered here will engage your students with games and competition that will support their understanding of finding surface area using nets. They are designed for middle school students.

Closest Without Going Over

Estimation is an important skill. This activity will have your students estimating surface area as they draw nets.


  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler


  • Divide your class into pairs.
  • Instruct each pair to work together to draw a net for any 3D shape. Any shape net will work for this activity.
  • Give your students a target surface area to achieve. Remember:
    • Students may not use their ruler as they draw the net.
    • The winning net is the one that results in an actual surface area closest to the target without going over the target.
    • Students should write their names on their net when finished.
  • When everyone is finished, ask students to swap papers and calculate the surface area of their classmates' shape from the net drawn.
    • The measures should be written on the net along with the initials of the measurers.
  • Poll the class to determine who came closest without going over the target.
  • Conduct a brief discussion to help students understand how they can adjust their approach to get a closer result and play again.


  • This can be an independent activity with students drawing their own nets.
  • It will add extra incentive to the competition if you allow the winners to choose the next target shape and size.

Giant Nets

Working in grand scales is a great way for students to engage physically with math concepts. You will need a large open area for this activity.


  • Sidewalk chalk (or masking tape)
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Straight edge (can be a ruler)

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