Drawing 3D Shapes

3D shapes teaches students  how to draw them using isometric and elevation drawings.  Students progress onto constructing nets of a range of solids.  This is a key topic before moving onto finding the volume and surface area of cubes and prisms in Year 10 Term 4 for the Higher GCSE  course.

Drawing 3D Shapes Lessons

Prerequisite Knowledge

  • draw 2-D shapes and make 3-D shapes using modelling materials; recognise 3-D shapes in different orientations and describe them
  • compare and classify geometric shapes, including quadrilaterals and triangles, based on their properties and sizes

Success Criteria

  • identify properties of the faces, surfaces, edges and vertices of: cubes, cuboids, prisms, cylinders, pyramids, cones and spheres
  • construct and interpret plans and elevations of 3D shapes.

Key Concepts

  • Students need to understand the geometrical difference between a prism and pyramid.
  • Horizontal lines are not drawn on isometric paper.
  • Students need to sketch a solid from elevation drawings and vice-a-versa

Common Misconceptions

  • Students often get confused which elevation to draw and how to include hidden detail.
  • Some students find it difficult to draw 3D shapes on isometric paper.  Encourage the use of multilink cubes to aid drawings.


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