Volume and Surface Area


(taken from “Big Ideas by Dr. Small”):

  1. The area of an object is a two-dimensional attribute. Area can be a single measure of a 2-D shape on an object or a combined measure of a 3-D shape, like surface area.
  2. The capacity of an object tells how much it will hold.
  3. The volume of a 3-D object tells how much material it takes to build the object.
  4. The mass of an object tells how heavy it is.


GOAL #1: I can calculate the surface area of right prisms.

GOAL #2: I can determine the volume of right prisms. 





  • Determine, through investigation using a variety of tools (e.g., nets, concrete materials, dynamic geometry software, Polydrons), the surface area of right prisms;
  • Solve problems that involve the surface area and volume of right prisms and that require conversion between metric measures of capacity and volume (i.e., millilitres and cubic centimetres).
  • Determine the relationships among units and measurable attributes, including … the volume of a right prism;
  • Sketch different polygonal prisms that share the same volume;
  • Determine, through investigation using a variety of tools and strategies (e.g., decomposing right prisms; stacking congruent layers of concrete materials to form a right prism), the relationship between the height, the area of the base, and the volume of right prisms with simple polygonal bases (e.g., parallelograms, trapezoids), and generalize to develop the formula (i.e., Volume = area of base x height);