Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Bubbles Everywhere!

Annette Nixon
Santa Rosa District Schools


The lesson is a fun way to practice measurement, and circle and sphere formulas. It can easily be adapted to fit any level of circle exploration.


The student uses concrete and graphic models to derive formulas for finding perimeter, area, surface area, circumference, and volume of two- and three-dimensional shapes, including rectangular solids and cylinders.

The student knows how a change in a figure's dimensions affects its perimeter, area, circumference, surface area, or volume.

The student knows how changes in the volume, surface area, area, or perimeter of a figure affect the dimensions of the figure.

The student measures accurately with the measurement tools to the specified degree of accuracy for the task and in keeping with the precision of the measurement tool.


- Bubble worksheet ( one per student)
- Ruler or tape measure, one for each group
- One bottle of bubbles with wand per group
(Wedding bubbles are cheap and work great!)


1. Copy worksheets and gather materials.
2. Check desk surfaces for bubble rings.
3. Arrange desks into groups of three.
4. Divide class into groups of three.


1. Students should be familiar with circles and associated vocabulary such as radius and diameter, and the formulas chosen to work with. Either fill in the required formulas on the worksheet with the students or assign them to fill in the formulas from their notes.
2. Assign each member of the group a -job.- One will be the recorder, one the measurer, and one the bubble blower. Students will switch jobs, but advise them to blow bubbles on only one desk in each group or they will have very wet worksheets!
3. The bubble blower will blow a bubble onto the desk. As the bubble pops, it will leave a ring. (Experiment before class, some surfaces work better if slightly damp.)
4. The measurer will measure the diameter of the circle. Select the unit of measure that the students should be using, and discuss with the students what degree of accuracy they should use. (For example, cm to the nearest tenth or hundredth; inches to the nearest fourth or eighth.)
5. The recorder records the measurement in the diameter column and the process continues until 10 bubbles are blown. Students then switch jobs and another member of the group fills in their diameters. This continues until each member's sheet is filled in with 10 bubbles.
6. Dry off desks and then students can work together to find the radius, circumference, and area of each bubble ring formed. The volume and surface area of the bubbles can also be found.


While students are blowing bubbles, circulate and spot check to see if students are measuring correctly and to the correct degree of accuracy.
Check students worksheets to be sure the formulas were used correctly. Because each worksheet will be different, it is difficult to check each answer for each student. Random checking might be used or have students check each other's for extra practice.


This lesson can be adjusted easily for those students just introduced to circles. Students may just find the area and circumference, if so, it may be wise to blow a few more bubbles per person to provide more practice.

For more advanced students, this is a good time to look at the relationship between surface area and volume. Before they begin, ask such questions as, -Which will be larger, surface area or volume?- -Will this always be so?- -Will they ever be the same?-
It is also fun to award silly prizes to those with the largest surface area or volume, but do not tell them this at the beggining, they will try for large bubbles instead of focusing on the math aspect.

Web Links

Web supplement for Bubbles Everywhere!

Web supplement for Bubbles Everywhere!

Attached Files

A chart for ten bubbles.     File Extension: pdf

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