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Making A Shape Jacket

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Students identify which geometric solids can be made from given nets. Students also create nets for common geometric solids.

Begin the lesson by asking students if they are familiar with shape jackets. Based upon their experiences in this unit, they should be able to identify what a shape jacket is.

Pose the following questions to students.

Look at these two jackets. Which solids do you think they match? 

Jacket number 1     Jacket number 2
1500 jacket 3      1500 jacket 2 

The above images are available on the Shape Jackets Overhead.

Students should recognize that both jackets form triangular pyramids.

overhead Shape Jackets Overhead 

Next, introduce the formal geometry terms. A jacket for a geometric solid that can be folded to create the surface of the solid is called a net. A net is a way of representing a polyhedron in two dimensions. (A net is a two-dimensional figure with indicated lines for folding that folds into a three-dimensional polyhedron.)

For this part of the activity, students should work with a partner. Look at the cube. Ask students to plan how they will make a net for a cube.

Students can use grid paper to make their nets. They should fold their nets to create a cube, making sure that an actual cube is formed.

pdficon Grid Paper 

Students should make nets for other solids, such as rectangular prisms, triangular prisms, and square pyramids.


Assessment Option 

Students can use the Cube Nets Tool. Students click on a net to identify whether or not it will form a cube.

appicon Cube Nets 


Students can create nets for some of the more complex geometric solids, such as the octahedron, dodecahedron, icosahedron, and an irregular polyhedron.


Getting to Know the Solids

Students are introduced to some of the basic polyhedra. Students explore the shapes of the faces of these solids.

Study the Solids

In this interactive geometry investigation, students explore geometric solids and their properties. Specifically, students count the number of faces, edges, and corners (vertices) in various solids.

Looking for Patterns

Students discover Euler's Formula, a way of calculating the number of faces, edges, and vertices of geometric solids.

Construct a Solid

Students construct physical models of geometric solids.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze characteristics and properties of three dimensional geometric shapes and develop mathematical arguments about geometric relationships.
  • Use visualization, spatial reasoning, and geometric modeling to solve problems.
  • Identify which geometric solids can be made from given nets.
  • Create nets for common geometric solids.

NCTM Standards and Expectations

  • Identify, compare, and analyze attributes of two- and three-dimensional shapes and develop vocabulary to describe the attributes.
  • Build and draw geometric objects.