ALEX Learning Activity


Slicing Three-Dimensional Figures and Identifying the Resulting Cross-Sections

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

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  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Kimberly Dockery
System:Alabama Department of Education
School:Alabama Department of Education
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 2698
Slicing Three-Dimensional Figures and Identifying the Resulting Cross-Sections
Digital Tool/Resource:
Interactivate - Cross Section Flyer Tool
Web Address – URL:

In this activity, students will use the Interactivate Cross Section Flyer Tool to discover the cross-sections that result from slicing three-dimensional figures. Students will use a graphic organizer to collect data on prisms, pyramids, and cylinders.

Cross-Section Graphic Organizer

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 7
23) Demonstrate the use of a variety of digital devices individually and collaboratively to collect, analyze, and present information for content-related problems.

Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students will:
  • use any devices available for data collection and research to present on an assigned or chosen content
  • related issue.
Students know:
  • that often there exists a devices that will be better for a task than another device.
Students are able to:
  • use multiple devices to research and collect data to compile a presentation.
Students understand that:
  • in research, the tool used is less important than the information gathered.
MA2019 (2019)
Grade: 7
19. Describe the two-dimensional figures created by slicing three-dimensional figures into plane sections.
Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Describe the two-dimensional figures that result from slicing three-dimensional figures, as in plane sections of right rectangular prisms and right rectangular pyramids.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Two-dimensional figures
  • Three-dimensional solids
  • plane sections
Students know:
  • the difference between a two-dimensional and three-dimensional figure.
  • The names and properties of two-dimensional shapes.
  • The names and properties of three-dimensional solids.
Students are able to:
  • Discover two-dimensional shapes from slicing three-dimensional figures. For example, students might slice a clay rectangular prism from different perspectives to see what two-dimensional shapes occur from each slice.
Students understand that:
  • slicing he prism from different planes may provide a different two-dimensional shape.
  • There are specific two-dimensional shapes resulting from slicing a three-dimensional figure.
Diverse Learning Needs:
Essential Skills:
Learning Objectives:
M.7.19.1: Define two-dimensional figure, three-dimensional figure, and plane section.
M.7.19.2: List attributes of three-dimensional figures.
M.7.19.3: List attributes of two-dimensional figures.
M.7.19.4: Describe the relationship between two- and three-dimensional figures.
M.7.19.5: Recognize symmetry.

Prior Knowledge Skills:
  • Identify that shapes in different categories (e.g., rhombuses, rectangles, and others) may share attributes (e.g., having four sides), and that the shared attributes can define a larger category (e.g., quadrilaterals).
  • Recognize and draw shapes having specified attributes such as a given number of angles or a given number of equal faces.
  • Identify triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, hexagons, heptagons, and octagons based on the number of sides, angles, and vertices.
  • Define three-dimensional figures, surface area, and nets.
  • Select and create a three-dimensional figure using manipulatives.
  • Identify three-dimensional figures.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
M.AAS.7.19 Match two similar geometric shapes that are proportional in size and orientation.

Learning Objectives:

Students will name, draw, and describe cross-sections that result from slicing three-dimensional figures.

Students will demonstrate the use of a digital tool to analyze cross-sections of three-deminsional figures.

  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

Prior to completing this activity, ensure the students have an understanding of the difference between vertical and horizontal slicing of three-dimensional figures. Students also need to understand when a slice is made through a three-dimensional figure, the result is a two-dimensional figure called a cross-section. One effective way to illustrate these concepts is through the use of play-dough three-dimensional models. Demonstrate both horizontal and vertical slices with string so the students visually see the resulting two-dimensional cross-sections. Have students turn and talk about the resulting cross-section and then share their observations with the class.

Pass out the graphic organizer for students to complete using the Interactivate Cross Section Flyer digital tool. Students can complete the activity in groups of 3-4 or independently.

Assessment Strategies:

Exit Ticket: Display a three-dimensional figure that was not used within the lesson and have the students name the cross-sections resulting from vertical and horizontal slices. (Example: cone) 

The teacher will observe students as they use the digital tool.

Advanced Preparation:

Create play-dough models of three-dimensional figures prior to the lesson.  

Visit the website Interactivate Cross-Section Flyer to become familiar with manipulating the figures.

Students will need access to the Interactivate Cross-Section Flyer Website.

Copies of the graphic organizer for students to complete either individually or in groups.

Variation Tips (optional):

If there is not technology available, the activity can be modified by allowing the students to complete the graphic organizer independently using play-dough models.

Notes or Recommendations (optional):

Interactivate Cross-Section Flyer is a free resource.

  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: 3D, 7th grade, crosssection, crosssections, geometry, graphic organizer, interactive, math, slice, slicing, three dimensional, threedimensional figure, threedimensional figures, two dimensional, twodimensional figure, twodimensional figures