Lesson Plan: Dog houses of Various Dimensions

Students will learn how surface area and volume changes as the dimensions of a rectangular prism changes. Students will build and paint a doghouse (surface area) for different sizes of dogs (volume).

Author Grade Level Subject/Course Duration
Jill Jackson 7 Math, Geometry 4-5 Weeks




Know the formulas for the area and circumference of a circle and use them to solve problems; give an informal derivation of the relationship between the circumference and area of a circle.


Use facts about supplementary, complementary, vertical, and adjacent angles in a multi-step problem to write and solve simple equations for an unknown angle in a figure.

Driving Question

How do changing the dimensions change the volume and surface area (SA) of 3D figures?

Entry Event

A trifold to explain the sizes of doghouses and various SA and Volumes as well as a Clifford clip to show the importance of dimension for the size of the dog.

Public Product

Parents of students will be invited to a parent night and will hopefully buy the doghouses to help sustain the project for next year. Students will have created a trifold brochure showing the 5 different doghouses and their different SA and Volumes as their Summative Assessment. These will be available for parents to look at and ask students questions.


  • wood (4×8 plywood & 2x4x8 posts)
  • paint
  • nails
  • hammers
  • paint brushes

Formative Assessment 1

Real time with doghouse

Can you determine and show the dimensions of all 2D surfaces of doghouse upon request?

Formative Assessment 2

Worksheet-showing their work on paper

Can you determine the area of all surfaces of doghouse?

Formative Assessment 3

Google Form for Team with work turned in on paper

Can you find the surface area of entire doghouse and determine how much paint (gallons) is needed to paint the house?

Formative Assessment 4

Real time showing how to measure HT

Can you determine the height of composite 3D figure (rectangular prism and triangular prism)?

Formative Assessment 5

Worksheet with work and answers

Can you determine the volume of composite 3D figure (rectangular prism and triangular prism)?

Formative Assessment 6

Trifold Brochure

Create a trifold brochure showing your understanding by comparing and contrasting how the different dimensions of two doghouses affect the surface area and volume.

*Must have paragraphs by each team member explaining/supporting their knowledge/understanding.

Project Calendar

View the project calendar here.


  • Buy wood, nails, hammer, and other materials
  • Set date for an architect or carpenter to speak with students
  • Make arrangements for a field trip to pet shop or dog shelter
  • Make arrangements for a Parent Night and create invitations to send home