Polyhedra Nets - Paper

Back to Polyhedra Unit - Student Activities

Students work in groups of 4.

  1. 4 sheets of the net of a cube
  2. 4 sheets of the net of a tetrahedron*
  3. 4 sheets of the net of an octahedron*
  4. 4 sheets of the net of a dodecahedron
  5. 4 sheets of the net of an icosahedron
  6. 4 sheets of the net of a cuboctahedron
  7. 4 pair scissors
  8. Scotch tape
  9. 1 bucket or basket to hold the materials during the project time

*Students can learn to construct this net using a straightedge and compass.

  1. The materials are distributed and each group member prints his or her name on the face of one of each of the different polyhedra nets. [This ensures that later, when they are all mixed in the bucket, they will still be identifiable.]

  2. Each group member is to cut out the polyhedra from the nets, fold, and tape.

  3. As the students work, encourage them to use the vocabulary by asking prompting questions:

      How many edges will you fold to make the cube?

      How many faces does a dodecahedron have?
      [The faces are easier to count if you use the two-dimensional net rather than the three-dimensional solid.]
  1. As each of the polyhedra is finished, the group "checker" takes the product to Quality Control [the teacher, who is checking to see whether the taping was done correctly so that all faces are showing], and if it passes inspection the polyhedron is placed in the group's bucket. If not, the checker takes it back to the group member for correction.

  2. Group members are encouraged to help each other so that they will have six polyhedra models for each member in their group bucket.
These models will be used both as props for "speeches" and to check work.

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