A 60 minute lesson in which students will estimate and measure the volume of objects using informal units.
- Distribute a set of 10 cubes (MABs, unifix cubes, construction blocks) to each student/pair of students. Ask the students to make an object that has a volume of 5 cubes. When completed, ask the students to look at the objects around them, noting any differences in how the object was made. Discuss with the students how it is possible to have different-looking objects with the same volume. Repeat the activity for several different volumes.
- As a class, complete the Cubirocks activity on the ABC Splash website. Work through the introduction, noting the characters and the size of the cube that each one uses. When prompted, click on ‘Watch’ to see the worked examples. Draw attention to how the character estimates before measuring, and how they adjust their estimate accordingly.
- Model the process for answering the questions by completing Question 1 as the students watch.
- Monitor and support the students as they work through the rest of the questions. If required, they can record their estimates and the actual measurements in a workbook or on a mini-whiteboard. The activities can be completed in small groups (the size of which will depend on the number of devices available). If devices are limited, the teacher could continue to lead the lesson by working through the questions, asking the class for estimates and then checking them. It could also be arranged as a fun competition whereby groups discuss and offer an estimate, then win points for being correct.
- Gather together as a class. Discuss how using cubes of differing sizes affected the measuring of the objects’ volumes.
- Encourage more capable students to write a sentence describing how the size of the cube used affected the resulting measurement e.g. A smaller/larger cube will give a higher/lower measurement of volume.
- Allow less confident students to be work with a more capable peer during the activity.
Suggested Assessment Strategies
- used strategic whole class or individual questioning
- observed student participation during learning activities
- recorded student progress on a checklist
- annotated student work samples
- collected and reviewed student work samples
- facilitated whole class or peer feedback sessions
- encouraged student self-reflection
- administered formal assessment tasks.
Common Core State Standards alignment
Recognize volume as an attribute of solid figures and understand concepts of volume measurement....
A cube with side length 1 unit, called a "unit cube," is said to have "one cubic unit" of volume, and can be used to measure volume....
A solid figure which can be packed without gaps or overlaps using n unit cubes is said to have a volume of n cubic units....
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