This lesson plan was written by Ed Clement,
teacher at Hanson Park Elementary School and a former Teachers Network web mentor.

 For
kids in 5th through 8th grade.
Build
math skills.
 Show
kids that math can be useful.

Take the lesson of building a simple paper geodome
model one step further. After the model is completed make a cardboard
model large enough to be used as a playhouse or reading center for PreK
through 1st grade students.
BASIC STEPS
 Use math and compass skills to make two small paper geodome circles.
(One for the hexagon and one for the square.)
 Use the mathematical properties of circles and protractor skills
to divide the two small geodome circles into the proper number of
sections.
 Connect the section ends of both circles.
 Repeat steps 1 through 3 or use spreadsheet and CAD skills to
make 7 more hexagons and 6 more squares.
 Cut out circles with scissors.
 Fold back the sections ends.
 Staple or bolt ends together using a completed paper geodome
as a diagram.
 Decorate small paper geodome. (Best decorated small paper geodome
can be use as the model for decorating the big geodome.)
 Repeat steps 1 through 8 with larger panel dimensions and large
sheets of cardboard.
 Move geodome into prek or primary classroom to be used as a
playhouse, reading room etc.

On the left is a diagram of
how the dome is put together. The dome is really an Archimedean
solid called a truncated octahedron. It is made by joining
8 hexagons and 6 squares in the manner illustrated below.
More detailed drawings and assembly directions for this truncated
octahedron can be found in most geometry books.
I choose this particular Archimedean solid because the
hexagons are large enough to make a stable base for the
geodome to rest on and because it required only 14 panels
to complete .

The individual panels are made by first drawing a circle. To make
the hexagon panel the circle is divided into six equal 60 degree segments
while the square is a circle divided into 90 degree segments. After
the segments are drawn the segment ends are connected.
To make a small paper dome 6 inches tall make the hexagon circles
5 inches in diameter and the square circles 3 1/2 inches in diameter.
When making the 54 inch high play house, make the hexagon circles
44 inches in diameter and the square circles 31 inches in diameter.
Needs List
SIMPLE 
HIGH TECH 
 14 sheets of 8 1/2" by 11" plain white paper
 14 sheets of 2 feet by 2 feet sheets of cardboard
 Scissors
 Compass and protractor
 Stapler.
 1/4" by 3/4" bolts and nuts
 1/4" diameter punch
 Screw driver
 Simple calculator

 Same as simple plus
 Computer loaded with spreadsheet and computer assisted design
software
 Graphing calculator·
 Cordless electric hand drill with 1/4" drill bit
 Electric screw driver

