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Volume and Surface Area of 3D Shapes Lesson Plan

Learning Objective

Students will be able to identify and calculate the volume and surface area of 3D shapes using Brush Ninja animated gif maker.


  • Computers or tablets with internet access
  • Brush Ninja animated gif maker website
  • Paper and pencils for calculations


  1. Introduce the concept of volume and surface area of 3D shapes.
  2. Show examples of different 3D shapes such as cubes, rectangular prisms, spheres, cones, and cylinders.
  3. Divide students into small groups.
  4. Instruct each group to choose a 3D shape from the ones presented and draw it on paper.
  5. Students will use Brush Ninja to create an animated gif that shows their chosen 3D shape rotating in space. This an be quite complicated so reference material would be useful.
  6. Once they have created their animation, students will measure the dimensions of their shape (height, width, length) and use these measurements to calculate the volume and surface area of their chosen shape.
  7. Students will record their calculations on paper along with their animated gif.
  8. Each group will present their animated gif along with their calculations to the class.


Teacher will assess student understanding through observation during group work and presentation. Teacher can also provide feedback on student’s calculations.


For extension activities, teachers can:

  • Have students compare and contrast different shapes’ volumes/surface areas within groups or as a class discussion
  • Challenge students by asking them to find real-world objects that are similar in shape to those used in class

How to animate with Brush Ninja

This video teaches the basics of using Brush Ninja

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Note: The lessons are written with the assumption that teachers will be using them as a starting point, and will be adapting them to suit the needs of their students and curriculum.

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