Surface Area and Perimeter

Surface Area and Perimeter

8-10 yrs old

11-13 yrs old

Computer Science

Math & Economics

Students will use Code Builder to determine the amount of paint needed to paint a new house.

avatar Submitted By: John Miller

January 25, 2019

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  • Critical Thinking

Supporting Files

World File

World file for student download

Learning Objectives

  • Students will understand how to use the fill and replace blocks command.
  • Students will understand how to determine relative position.
  • Students will create polygons in the coordinate plane. (CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.G.A.3)
  • Students will represent three-dimensional figures using nets made up of rectangles and use the nets to find the surface area of these figures. (CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.G.A.4)

Guiding Ideas

Before beginning, students should have some familiarity with and basic understanding of how to create chat commands.

Fill block commands work in three-dimensions.

Block commands can be used to replace one block with another.

Surface area can be determined by added together area measurements of the sides of a 3D polygon.


Student Activities

This activity can be completed by individual students or pairs working together in the same world.

Students will visit a new home under construction and help the owner add a fence around a garden, build a horse barn, and use the nets strategy to determine how much paint will be needed to cover the surface of the exterior walls of the house.

Step 1 – Students are to use their agent to add a fence around the garden to keep animals out. Fence posts need to be placed in the agent’s inventory. Commands used will vary, but they will likely need to use:

  • agent [place on move] <true>
  • agent move [forward] by (num)
  • agent move [right, left] by (num)

When the fence is complete, have students calculate and record the area and perimeter of the garden.

Step 2 – Build a barn using the block fill with command that surrounds the hay floor. Students will need to determine volume of the building being created and then use the following command:

fill with (wood plank of their choice)

From ~0 ~0 ~0 (player’s current location)

To ~x ~y ~z (representing positions in front/behind, up/down, left/right of the player’s position)

[hollow] (creates a hollow shape as opposed to a solid one)

When the barn is complete, have students calculate and record the volume inside and modify the fence to let the horse enjoy the extra space.

Step 3 – Students will find an exploded view floor plan of the house behind it. They are to use the same fill with block command to produce a nets model of the house walls that they can use to calculate surface area.

Each wall they create should lay flat on the ground, so they will need to adjust their to positions accordingly. A model is available in the world. When complete they should have 10 walls laying flat on the ground. Calculate and record the surface area of each and add them together to determine the amount of paint needed for the house.

Students can also be asked to account for the door and windows for a precise measurement.


Performance Expectations

Students will demonstrate their understanding of agent move commands and area and perimeter by building a fence around a garden.

Students will demonstrate their understanding of relative position, the block fill command, and creating polygons in a 3-D space by building a horse barn.

Students will take measurements and use the block fill command to demonstrate their understanding of surface area.

Students should be able to answer the following questions:

  • How can surface area be measured using a nets model when painting a house?
  • How might you use the fill command to replace the spruce planks with a different type of wood?


  • Critical Thinking

Supporting Files

World File

World file for student download