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Pre-requisite skills for students of Grade 5 and 6 are required before solving the surface area of a cube. Necessary steps of the conversion of 2-dimensional into a…
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This paper aims the introduction of the surface area of cube concept to grades 5 and 6 Grade students. Pre-requisite skills for students of Grade 5 and 6 are required before solving the surface area of a cube. Necessary steps of the conversion of 2-dimensional into a 3-dimensional material are also discussed.
Several applications in the daily life involve the computing of the items’ area. A real world problem is to know the items with three dimensions. Before the description of the surface area, students of the 5 and 6 grades must know the objects with three dimensions. Students are asked to change the two dimensional objects into the three dimension objects.
A cube is formed from six faces with identical squares, which are joined by their edges. A vertex is formed by joining of the three edges at the each corner. This cube is too known as the regular hexahedron.
The cube is very common 3-D (three-dimensional) object. The shape is displayed in the figure below. For understanding the concept of finding the surface area of a cube in grade 5 and 6, there is need to educate the students in a logical and more practical manners (Mighty students, 2010). The use of real time practical examples can help the students of this age to get better understanding of the concept of surface area of a cube.

There are six squares in the above figure and each square has an area a*a, or a2. So, one area of square is multiplied by the 6 to get the surface area.
Fig.1 Illustration of cube
According to McDoniel (2008) the topic relates to the understanding the surface area of a cube. The author also describes the methods for making the concepts for the students of grade 5 and 6 through the use of real world practical examples. There are some prerequisite skills, which are necessary for getting better knowledge about the concept of surface area of a cube. These important requirements are as follows:
All students must have basic mathematical skills: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
They must know about fraction.
Theoretical Definition of Surface Area of a Cube:
The sum of all the areas of the faces of the cube will give the surface area of the cube. It may considered as, the addition of all sides of the cube that shows the surface area of a cube.
The definition from the (math open reference) is “the numbers of square units that will exactly cover the surface area of a cube”.
Another definition taken from (math) about the surface area of cube is presented as: “the surface area of the cube is the area of six squares that cover it”.
Mathematical Formula of Surface Area of a Cube:
It is known that a cube has six sides, and each side of them is a square
a*a = a2
Because there are six sides and total surface can be illustrated as
SA= 6 * a2
Where: SA is the Surface area of cube.
a is the size of one side of cube.
For example: An item has 4 cm length of one side then surface area is calculating by using the above formula
SA= 6 * a2
SA = 6*42
SA = 6* 4*4
SA = 96 cm2
In the case when surface area of cube is already known and edge length is required to find. So for this purpose by rearranging the formula of surface area of a cube a new formula is defined as:

Practical Example:

The students must be familiar with cubic shape items. For making cube shape things like a bin, student must make square shape pieces. This concept is based on the turning two-dimensional squares into three-dimensional cubes. When students are asked to make a cube shape bin, for this task they must cut the square shaped six pieces and all these six pieces must be of same size. This concept relates with the cubes. After having six same sizes square pieces combine them together to make cube shape of a bin. From this the surface of a cube is calculated by using the above formula of SA= 6 * a2 (The World of Math online, 2005).
The method for making cube from combining six same sized squares is good way to understand the conversion of 2-dimentional into material into 3-dimentional.
Exterior Surface area of a Cube
To determine the exterior surface are of a cube there is need to find the height, width and depth. A cube has six faces and three- dimensions. All faces of a cube item are shaped as square. There are some instructions to follow for calculating the surface area of a cube. First of all measure the one side of a cube, secondly square the measured length as it makes one square, and thirdly multiply the measured square value with six as cube has six square faces (Woloch, 2011).
In this paper, teaching methods of mathematics for grade 5 & 6 students has been discussed. A real example about surface area is exemplified that helps the students to get better understanding of the concept of surface area of a cube.
McDoniel, M. (2008). Introducing the Concept of Surface Area of a Cube. Available from Accessed on 05/02/2013
Mighty Students (2010). How to introduce the concept of surface area of a cube in grades 5 and
6.Available from Accessed on 05/02/2013.
The World of Math online (2005). Surface Area formulas. Available from Accessed on 05/02/2013.
Woloch, J. (2011). How to Determine the Exterior Surface Area of a Cube, available from accessed on 07/02/2013. Read More
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