Middle School Math - 6th Grade Backpack Designer Project

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Students will be working in teams to form Backpack Design Companies which will be competing with other teams to win the chance to become the featured backpack design for next year’s back-to-school sale. Teams will work together to improve the functionality, design, and physical comfort of backpacks so they will be more appealing to middle school students.

Students will research the history and functions of backpacks in our society, develop new designs, build backpack prototypes, give and receive feedback and critiques from their peers and as a culminating activity present their prototypes in a public domain.

Middle School Math - 6th Grade Backpack Designer Project

Topics Covered:

•The Engineering Design Process
•Volume of Prisms
•Area and Surface Area of Polygons using Nets
•Operations with Decimals
•Market Research
•Economics of Markets
•Data Analysis
•Research and Investigation
•Argumentative Writing
•Presentation Development


This Project Based Learning Unit exemplifies the critical components of a true PBL and has the following elements built into the PBL Design:

-Key Knowledge and Understandings
-Challenge Question
-Sustained Inquiry
-Authentic Experience
-Student Voice and Choice
-Critique and Revision
-Public Product


Included in this Project:

•Project Calendar and Schedule
•Standards and Learning Targets
•Informational Sheet summarizing Project
•Scope and Sequence and Overview
•Rubrics for Project
•Peer Assessment Rubrics for Presentations
•Formative Assessments and Quizzes
•Project Extensions
•15 Lesson Plans and Power Point Presentations
•Individual Assignments and Activities
•Warm Up Activities
•Summative Assessment


6 Lessons
Surface Area of: Rectangular Prisms, Triangular Prisms, Square Pyramids, and Tetrahedrons.

• Lesson 1 – Overview of Surface Area
• Lesson 2 – Rectangular Prisms (3 total Lessons included)
• Lesson 3 – Triangular Prisms
• Lesson 4 – Square Pyramids
• Lesson 5 – Tetrahedrons
• Lesson 6 – Review of Surface Area
• Application to Real World Activity
• Formative Assessments and Modifications


3 lessons
Volume of Rectangular Prisms

• Lesson # 1 –Volume
• Lesson # 2 – Volume of Rectangular Prisms
• Lesson # 3 – Volume and Application


This is a comprehensive 9 week Project Based Learning Unit that can be downloaded and immediately put into use in your classroom. This unit focuses on teaching Math, Social Studies, and ELA standards through the Engineering Design Process for 6th grade students but can easily be modified for lower and upper grades. This Project Based Learning Unit can also be extended by using the extension lessons and standards included.

Common Core Math Standards:


Next Generation Science Standards:


Common Core English Language Arts Standards:


Illinois State Social Studies

Enterprise Skills and Economics

Understand how different economic systems operate in the exchange, production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.

•Problem solving
•The world of business

We have worked extremely hard on this project based learning unit and would love to receive feedback about ways to improve this for other teachers. If possible, please leave a comment or review and check out more of our resources and lessons at our store:


If you enjoy this product, please leave us a comment or review so we can work to make our lessons and resources better and more useful.

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Thanks and enjoy!
Total Pages
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
2 Months

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Digital Download
List Price: $25.00
You Save: $10.00
Middle School Math - 6th Grade Backpack Designer Project
Middle School Math - 6th Grade Backpack Designer Project
Middle School Math - 6th Grade Backpack Designer Project
Middle School Math - 6th Grade Backpack Designer Project
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