An introduction to volume which follows from students’ understanding of area. We model area with squares; we model volume by building rectangles up, to make the third dimension – height.
Templates for making boxes of various sizes are included. There are 10 different boxes forming simple rectangular prisms, and 4 other boxes which form combinations of two prisms. Examples of both types are shown. All these templates are printed onto a single sheet of card stock and then cut out.
Students tape the templates, or nets, into boxes, label each dimension (length, width, height), and fill the boxes with one-inch cubes. They then record the dimensions and write the equations to find volume. .
New as of February, 2015: These activities now include:
- “additive volume” – boxes composed of two separate prisms,
- “decomposing rectangular prisms” – dividing a prism into 2 smaller prisms,
- finding the missing dimension of a three-dimensional object.
Followup activities include lists of common classroom objects which students measure and calculate volume for. Problems for additive volume include finding the volume of objects like a moving truck, refrigerator, etc.
One-inch cubes are available from publishers like Nasco and ETA/Cuisenaire, and can be borrowed from many primary grade teachers.
Common Core Standards:
5.MD.3.a, b: “…understand concepts of volume and relate volume to multiplication…”
5.MD.4: “Measure volume by counting unit cubes…”
5.MD.5.a, b: “Relate volume to the operations of multiplication and addition and solve real world and mathematical problems involving volume…”
5.MD.5.d: “Recognize volume as additive…”
Subjects: Math, Geometry, Volume, Measurement, Word Problems, Applied Math
Level: Grades 4-6
Duration: 19 pages of student work, 6 – 7 days
Type of Resource: Instructional unit with student activities for volume, equations, measurement
Answer Key: included
A Smart Notebook 10 file is also included.