Saturday, March 25, 2017

Hands-on Volume of Composite Figures Activity

As we began to wrap up our unit on volumes in 6th grade math, I started trying to think of some fun ideas to help my students review how to find the volume of the figures we had studied. In 6th grade, we cover the volume of rectangular prisms, triangular prisms, pyramids, cylinders, cones, and then finally work up to finding the volume of composite figures.

In past years we had constructed these shapes from their nets, so I decided to add on to that by letting the students come up with their own 3D creations from these nets. These free 3D figure nets from Math Geek Mama worked out perfectly for this project! The rules were simple... students could use 3-5 of the available nets to create their own 3D creation! Here are a few that they came up with.

Day one was all about creating the figures. Students really liked the freedom of picking their own nets and designing their figures however they liked. They could use tape or glue to form their nets and composite figures.

On Day 2, as students finished creating their figures, they started to find the volume of their composite figures. Many of my students had already grasped the idea of finding the volume of composite figures, but for those who hadn't, this project gave a great hands-on opportunity for them to practice these problems! Since I was short on time, I just had students take a piece of loose leaf paper to find their volume on. They turned in their paper and their robot (with names) once they finished!

This is definitely a project I will be doing again!