A 60 minute lesson in which students will revise and consolidate the concept of capacity.
Small informal units for measuring capacity
Plastic containers of various sizes
This lesson contains a link to an external video. Please watch the video prior to presenting this lesson to ensure that the content is appropriate for your students.
Watch the I’m a Little Teapot video on YouTube. Afterwards, construct a list of items seen in the video and record these on the board. Invite the class to classify the objects into those which have capacity and those which do not.
Discuss which object from the list has the largest capacity. Encourage the students to explain how they can tell using appropriate vocabulary.
Explain to the students that, during this lesson, they will be completing a number of activities to revise capacity. Describe each of the activities listed below. Allow the students to ask questions and/or seek clarification where necessary.
Play the Cyberchase Capacity Game on the PBS kids website by finding the correct combinations of pots to fill the big container without making it overflow.
Find five objects around the classroom that have capacity, then list/draw them. Circle the object with the smallest capacity, then draw a square around the object with the largest capacity.
Complete the Measuring Capacity Using Informal Units activity on the Study Ladder website by filling the containers and recording the capacity. For an added level of complexity, type in an estimate before completing the task.
Find five objects from around the classroom that don’t have capacity, then list/draw them.
Play Peg and Cat’s Bubble Bath on the PBS Kids website by choosing a container to fill the bathtub, estimating how many will be needed and then checking by measuring.
Measure the capacity of a container using two different informal units e.g. small cubes, marbles, counters. Record the measurements, then discuss the good points and the bad points for each informal unit.
Gather the class together and invite the students to share their experiences of the activities. Revise the definition of capacity and check for any misconceptions.
Encourage more capable students to assist less confident peers during group work.
Allow less confident students to be supported by more capable peers during group work.
Suggested Assessment Strategies
used strategic whole class or individual questioning
observed student participation during learning activities