Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Lesson, Lesson Plan
Lower Primary
  • 3-dimensional
  • Box
  • Cl9lesson
  • Cluster 9
  • Cube
  • Decompose
  • Deconstruct
  • Dimensional
  • Figure
  • Net
  • Prism
  • Rectangular
  • Shape
  • Solid
  • Three
  • Unit 9
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs

    Education Standards

    T4T What's in Your Net?

    T4T What's in Your Net?


    This resource is from Tools4NCTeachers.

    In this lesson, students are given boxes to cut apart.  As they decompose the boxes, students notice the 2-dimensional shapes used to construct their 3-dimensional boxes.  A printable student recording sheet is provided within this lesson.

    Remix to include pictures of student work samples. 

    Here is a sample of this resource.  Click the attachment to download the entire fully-formatted lesson and support materials.  

    Building Mathematical Thinkers: Mini-Activities


    What’s In Your Net?


    Objective: Second Grade Geometry NC.2.G.1

                      Recognize and draw triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, and hexagons, having specified

                      attributes, recognize and describe attributes of rectangular prisms and cubes.


    Theoretical Foundation:  Second grade students explore what makes some shapes look alike and why some are different.  By identifying shapes and telling why they are that shape, the language and attention begins to focus more on properties, e.g. number of sides, having angles that are square corners, and equality of sides.  As students construct and deconstruct three-dimensional shapes, they will recognize that the three-dimensional shapes are made up of two-dimensional faces (polygons).  


    Estimated Time: 40 minutes


    Materials:   scissors, 1-2 cardboard boxes per student be sure to have a variety of cardboard boxes cereal, Kleenex (both cube and rectangular prism shaped), shoe boxes



    1. Demonstrate cutting apart a box.  Have the students describe the polygons that make up the faces of the box.
    2. Give each student a cardboard box.  Have students examine the box and write on the recording sheet the type of shape, the number of edges, faces, and vertices the box contains.
    3. Encourage students to examine the faces of the box and to discuss their findings with a partner.
    4. Have students carefully cut containers apart along seams until they lay flat.  By doing this students are finding the net of the shape.
    5. Next, have students look carefully at the net to see what types of polygons make up that three dimensional shape. 
    6. Students should fill in the correct block on the recording sheet.
    7. Allow students to share their findings with other students.
    8. Discuss the students’ discoveries with the entire class.  Create a class chart similar to the student recording sheet.
    9. Have students make conjectures about rectangular prisms (this includes cubes) based on this information.


    Differentiation Suggestions:

    1. Allow students to color each part of the net in order to make the faces easier to see.
    2. Once the box is cut, open to see the net, allow students to cut the different polygon faces off. Then glue them in the correct positions onto a large piece of construction paper.
    3. Allow students to work in groups or with a partner.


    Probing Questions:

    1. What do you notice about rectangular prisms?  Cubes?
    2. Could we say this is true for all __________?

    Are the faces of the shape congruent?  All of them?



    1. Does the student recognize the polygons that are not positioned the same way?
    2. Can the student easily visualize the net or does s/he have to have additional assistance to see the polygons?




    What’s In Your Net?


    Three dimensional shape

    Number of sides

    Number of edges

    Number of vertices

    Shape of faces