Identifying Nets For Cubes

Surface Area and Nets of Rectangular Prisms

Formative Assessment

Summary of the Math: Surface Area and Nets of Rectangular Prisms

Read and Discuss

  • A rectangular prism is a prism in which all faces are rectangles. There are many ways to “cut” along the edges of the prism in order to lay it flat (and thus make a net of the prism). Figures 2 and 3 show two different ways to make a net of the rectangular prism in Figure 1.
  • The surface area is the total area of the six rectangles that form the six faces of the prism. Regardless of which net you use, you will find that the surface area is 176 ft2.


Can you:

  • Explain what a net is?
  • Give at least one strategy for sketching the net of a rectangular prism?
  • Define surface area?
  • Describe how to use the net of a three-dimensional object to find its surface area?
  • Explain why the surface area that you calculate from two different nets of the same three-dimensional object will be the same?