Lesson Plan


This lesson walks students through a classic optimization problem involving building a (lidless) box from a sheet of paper. The lesson uses a worksheet in The Geometer’s Sketchpad.


  • Mathematics > General
  • Mathematics > Applied Mathematics
  • Mathematics > Calculus
  • Mathematics > Equations
  • Mathematics > Graphing
  • Mathematics > Problem Solving

Education Levels:

  • Grade 9
  • Grade 10
  • Grade 11
  • Grade 12


box measurement construction



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License Deed:

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0


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Curriki Rating
On a scale of 0 to 3
On a scale of 0 to 3

This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 2, as of 2008-07-28.

Component Ratings:

Technical Completeness: 2
Content Accuracy: 2
Appropriate Pedagogy: 2

Reviewer Comments:

Content here is to maximize volume of a lidless box. This activity could be adapted for Algebra, Geometry or Algebra 2. The resource intends the use of Geometers SketchPad however one could always get out the scissors and paper and group students for a hands-on activity. This resource will require some prep time regardless of how you carry out the activity. The ‘Generalization’ sheet provides some great review questions on how to express one value in terms of a variable and review of functions. There are 2 story problem extensions that incorporate real world scenarios and accommodate advanced learners. The CRT notes there is no answer key nor does it include any suggested student responses.

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