Toilet Paper Geometry Project

Toilet Paper Geometry is a math project that requires students to find the surface area and volume of a roll of toilet paper.  Students unwind the roll of toilet paper, place it into the form of one or more rectangles, and calculate the total surface area of the roll.  Then they determine how many rolls of toilet paper it would take to cover a basketball court, a football field, and a baseball diamond.  Students also calculate the volume of the toilet paper in two different ways (by finding the volume of a cylinder and a rectangular prism) and compare their results.  (See more pictures at the bottom of the page.)

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Toilet Paper Geometry Project Preview Pages (3 of 8)

(View Actual Pages from the Toilet Paper Geometry Project)

Part of the Complete Collection of Lessons, Projects, and Games

(42 Math Lessons, Projects, and Games – 438 pages)

Included in Geometry Activities eBook

(6 Geometry Lessons and Projects)

 

Toilet Paper Geometry - TP

Toilet Paper Geometry 1

 

Lesson Description:  Toilet Paper Geometry is a math project that requires students to find the surface area and volume of a roll of toilet paper. Students unwind the roll of toilet paper, place it into the form of one or more rectangles, and calculate the total surface area of the roll. Then they determine how many rolls of toilet paper it would take to cover a basketball court, a football field, and a baseball diamond. Students also calculate the volume of the toilet paper in two different ways (by finding the volume of a cylinder and a rectangular prism) and compare their results.

Math Content:  Surface Area, Area of Rectangles, Volume of Cylinders and Rectangular Prisms

Time Required:  1-2 Class Periods

Toilet Paper Geometry includes:

  • 2 Toilet Paper Geometry student worksheets
  • 2 Toilet Paper Geometry student worksheet Answer Keys
  • 1 Toilet Paper Geometry toilet paper trivia sheet
  • 2 Toilet Paper Geometry Teacher Tips pages
  • 1 Toilet Paper Geometry Cover Sheet               8 pages in all!

Materials Needed:  Rolls of Toilet Paper, rulers

Suggested Grade Level:  5th-8th

Teacher Testimonial:  Toilet Paper Geometry is a chance for students to take an everyday household object (toilet paper) and have it become the basis for an interesting project involving surface area and volume. Middle school students are always telling stories about whose house got toilet papered over the weekend. Students have an inherent interest in toilet paper. Teachers can also take the opportunity to compare unit prices, number of sheets, etc. between toilet paper brands.

Enjoy your lesson!!

Mark P. Tully