I don't know about you, but my 7th graders struggle with surface area! I have tried several different methods of calculating surface area. It finally dawned on me that I could connect a previous concept that they have learned to surface area. I teach area of composite shapes just prior to teaching volume and surface area, so I taught my students to take the 3-D figure and break it down into the net of the figure. And the net of a figure is simply a composite shape, which they know how to calculate the area of a composite shape. When I used this method, it was a lot more tangible for my students to comprehend and they were so much more successful at calculating surface area!
Included in this product are 3 examples where students break down a rectangular prism, triangular prism, and pyramid into a composite shape and calculate the area of the composite shape to calculate the surface area of the 3-D figure.
Answer key included!