This Google Slides Activity includes 5 unique slides that help students create nets for a cube, a rectangular prism, a triangular prism, a trapezoidal prism, and a hexagonal prism. Each slide then asks the students to find the total surface area of each geometric solid by looking at the separate faces and then adding all of the faces' areas together.
The slides become moderately more difficult as students progress through the activity, starting with a simple cube and ending with a hexagonal prism. Students will need prior knowledge about the area formulas for parallelograms, triangles, and trapezoids.
An easy way to differentiate or modify this activity would be to make some slides optional or extra credit. Teachers could also ask their students to complete some of the 5 slides, not all, providing a choice for which problems they solve. Additionally, another way to modify would be to allow calculators to be out and used during the activity, as well as even giving students the total surface area and asking them to work backward to prove the final answer.
I have used this activity in my 6th grade classroom and all abilities of students enjoyed the challenge. There is no prep required other than saving the activity to your Google Drive and assigning it via Google Classroom or providing your students with a link to the activity.