Teaching students 3D math is essential for years to come. Calculating area is necessary in many jobs and skills when students become adults as well as later in math schooling. As an educator, it is easier to get concepts across to the students with hands on projects. With a few ideas and some direction you will be on your way to teaching 3D math to your students through 3D math projects.
Identifying and Naming 3D Shapes
For younger elementary students who are just being introduced to 3D math knowing 3D shapes is essential. Have each student bring in a 3D shaped object and then identify the shape or shapes that makes it. For example, if a student brings in a doll you can break down the shapes. The head is a sphere, the arms and legs are cylinders and so on. This project will help students start identifying 3D shapes in the world around them.
Turning 2D into 3D
Having students figure out how to make a 3D box or cylinder out of a piece of paper is educational and gets them thinking about how to fabricate 3D shapes. Start by making a few examples and then let the students take it from there. Students will figure out how to measure and shape a 2D piece of paper into a 3D shape. This is an appropriate lesson for older elementary students through high school geometry classes.
Making a 3D Model
Taking previous lessons learned about geometry each student can build a physical model of a building. Using home as an example is an ideal way to start since the students will be able to measure each room. Using cardboard or foam core, glue, tape and art supplies each student can make an exact model of their home. This project is best suited for students in high school who have been taught geometry or drafting skills.
3D Math Games
There are many 3D games that students can learn. Games create an entertaining way to learn for each student. Turning the games into a competition will get the entire class involved and interacting. For younger students, keep the games simple such as shape naming and building with blocks. For older more advanced students, you can take the games to higher levels like figuring out the total area of different rooms or other 3D shapes.
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