Greeting Card Geometry

The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas always seems to be the hardest time of year to manage…at least for me!  I’m stressed. The kids are stressed. I’m usually behind on grading and everything else. Break can’t come fast enough!

Each year I do an activity called greeting card geometry to help combat this feeling of stress! It’s so fun! Plus, it involves MATH! How can it get any better?  I thought I’d use this blog post to share how to make it.

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Materials needed: greeting cards, small candy pieces, and tape

General Overview: Students use a basic greeting card to find the area of a rectangle (both open and closed). This is a great review. Students then tear  greeting card into two pieces. Each piece is folded into the top and bottom of a box, of which students can find volume and surface area. The candy is used to put treats inside the box!

Before you begin, create an “assignment” to record each step. I would share mine, but it wasn’t created by me so it’s not my assignment to share! Also, I find it helpful to have students bring in donations of greeting cards and small candy pieces.

Steps:
1. Measure the length and width of the greeting card as its closed. Open a greeting card and measure the length and width again. Use those measurements to find the area.
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2. Tear the top and bottom parts of the greeting card away from each other. These are going to create the top and bottom part of our box.
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3. Hold the greeting card vertically, and fold the left and right side into the center. You will do this for the top and bottom part of the box. If this is the top, leave a small space in between the left and the right side because the top of the box needs to be a tiny bit bigger. Make sure to crease each of these folds tightly and then unfold them.
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4.  After you unfold the previous creases, then turn the card horizontally and do the same thing to the left and right sides again; make sure to crease each of these fold.
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5. Unfold each of these creases and then turn the greeting card vertical one more time. You are going to do this step for both the top and bottom just like the other steps. Make small cut vertically as is shown in the picture. Make a cut along the vertical fold but be sure not to pass the horizontal fold. You’re going to do this on all four vertical creases to the horizontal fold.
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6. After you make four small cuts,  put the outside of the card down on the table. Then pulled up the left and the right side and fold in where you made the cuts as shown in the pictures.
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7.  Next, fold in the top and bottom. If you notice those are a tiny bit longer than the left and right side. So you are going to fold those over to hold the box in place. I also put a piece of tape along the inside flap to hold it down!
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8. I usually then have the students measure the box to find the volume and the surface area. As they do that I walk around and fill their box with candy!
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And that’s it!  Have fun with this! 🙂

Remember to make today and everyday ridiculously amazing.
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