How to Study Surface Area in Math

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Studying surface area in math is a great opportunity to work with various types of irregular shapes, like circular prisms. Study the surface area in math with help from an experienced mathematics educator in this free video clip.

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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Marija. And I'm going to show you how to study surface area in math. So, normally when you introduce surface area, we start with a shape of a rectangular prism. And then, you move onto other shapes. So, when I first teach it, I always teach surface area as gift wrapping, being that you have to cover all of the surfaces. So, you're looking for the area f each of the six surfaces of the rectangular prism because each of them have to get gift wrapped. So, if you're teaching this in class, it might be a great activity to physically deal with gift wrap to show the kids for the first time. So, you show them that if every surface must be covered, then you technically need to find the surface of each face. So, as an intro activity, you can find each of the separate areas and then, add them together. The conclusion you should come to, is that it'll be simplified down to two times the length times the width, plus two times the length times the height, plus two times the width times the height. But before you teach this formula, I would definitely show that this is actually simplified version of every single face of the rectangular prism being added together. And you would do the same thing is you have a cylinder because again, were finding the surface of the top portion. Which is the area of a circle, the bottom portion which should be the area of the same circle. And then, the middle portion, if you do this physically as a teacher, you should show them that a paper rolled out is actually what makes a cylinder. So, this cylinder portion in the middle is actually a rectangle. So, you're finding the area of two circles and a rectangle in the middle. So, I would again show this before you actually show the surface area formula.


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