**Lesson ideas for working with
the Surface Area and Volume applet**

This particular applet allows the user to manipulate the length, width,
and height variables of rectangular and triangular prisms. This applet
can be used as an exploration tool along with or in replacement of blocks.
To begin the exploration explain to your class this applet will allow them
to manipulate the height, width, and volume of a rectangular prism, and
their job is to see if they can find any patterns that form by changing
the different variables. Next, have the students open up the Surface
Area and Volume applet, spend 15 - 20 minutes trying to observe patterns,
and record the patterns they discover. For the more advanced students you
can have them try to find equations that will enable them to calculate
the surface area and volume of any given rectangular prism. Monitor the
class's progress assisting those students having difficulty. After the
majority of students have found some patterns bring the class together
and ask different students to share some of the patterns they observed
with the class. Now you can see if any of your students can suggest an
equation for surface area or volume. If no one has any suggestions have
the class partner up and see if they can work together to discover the
equations.

- This lesson idea can be made more difficult by including the triangular prism.
- This lesson idea can be made less difficult by limiting the students' exploration solely to cubes.