Constructing 3D Figures
Don’t you love an activity that doesn’t have any prep time? This is one of those. To do it, you only need to buy some pipe cleaners.
I do this activity after I have already taught how to count the properties of 3D figures with solid models. How to use it from there is up to you:
The activity could just reinforce vocabulary and the process of counting edges (and this time it could be on see-through figures instead of solid figures).
The activity could provide enrichment if you ask students to predict how many pipe cleaners they will need before they can get the pipe cleaners. You can also ask them to tell you what the pipe cleaners represent (ya know, as opposed to you telling them).
The activity can be used for super-duper extension like in this: awesome lesson here.
I do this with groups of 2 or 3. I assign each group a different shape (in the super-duper extension, I assign each group a different type of prism). Depending on your group and how much time you have, you might need to give the students some great big hints about constructing the two bases before they attach them with the pipe cleaners that make up the body. Otherwise, you can give them lots of time, and they’ll figure it out. I cut shorter pipe cleaners for the bases to help them think about this, but you don’t have to.
P.S. I’ve also heard of people doing this activity with straws that are attached with rubber bands. That might be neat because the rubber bands would represent vertices.