Introduce the topic by holding up a cardboard box and asking students to describe how cardboard boxes are made. Ask, What is a possible reason that cardboard boxes are not made in a factory already assembled? Why might it be necessary to collapse a box so that it is flat when recycling? Have you ever made your own paper box?
2. Watch the Video (5 minutes, whole group) Show students the video.
3. Investigation (15 minutes, small groups)
Distribute the materials and have students complete the activity sheet in small groups.
4. Conclusion (10 minutes, whole group) Compare the process of counting squares and using a formula to find the surface area of a prism. Which method is easier?
Activity Extension: Have students develop a formula for finding the surface area of any rectangular prism. Next, have them develop a formula for finding the surface area of any triangular prism.