Investigate how to sketch nets of pyramids
SketchUp is an excellent tool for creating and manipulating a virtual pyramid.
Creating a sketch of the net, and folding it, has helped my students understand and explain the difference between height and slant height.

The Surface Area page (under construction) walks students through the use of the Pythagorean theorem to find the slant heights for figures six and eight. SketchUp is used to confirm the surface area calculations. Once students can find the nets and total surface area of these three shapes, they should be challenged to apply their knowledge to any pyramid.

Figure Six – Net for Square Pyramid I
Dimensions Base 6’ x 6’; Height of 5’

Figure Seven - Net for Square Pyramid II
Base 6’ x 6’ ; Slant Height of 5’

Figure Eight – Net for Rectangular Pyramid
Dimensions 6’ x 3’; Height of 5’

Extension - Sketch the net of the Frustum for Square Pyramid I.
Locate the cross section at the midpoint of the pyramid's faces.
Find the lateral surface area.


Discussion Prompts
What is the difference between the three dimensions shown in the square pyramid?
Which measurements are necessary to find volume and which do we need to find surface area?