Finding the Volume of Large Spaces - Mid-Pacific Institute

Grade 5

Finding the Volume of Large Spaces

Posted on September 25, 2017

by Ms. Jenkins on September 25, 2017

What is the volume? What is the difference between the volume of 1 cubic centimeter and 1 cubic inch? How much space does 1 cubic meter take up? These are all questions that guide our learning about how to find the volume of objects. What began as learning how to find the volume of shapes is turning into finding the volume of the classroom.

Students began working on finding the volume of a cube and a rectangular prism. They were working with external dimensions and also through using smaller cubes to fill the box. They faced challenges along the way. What happens to the dimensions when the volume doubles? What happens when the volume is cut in half? Can you fill the same box with different sized boxes without changing the dimensions? They built boxes out of paper based on the dimensions they predicted, then filled them with smaller boxes to test their predictions.

This last week, the students have focused on building boxes with different dimensions using paper, pens, rulers, and yard sticks. They determined the volume of each of the boxes and shared them with their classmates.

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Now they are moving on to measuring the classroom and determining the volume of the room. Accurately measuring a space is turning out to be more difficult than we imagined, especially when the space has interesting bends and cabinets. How to get to the wall if there is a bookcase in the way? We have one measuring tape that can span the room but if there is slack in it, it adds length to the measurement. They are working through all of these challenges. We will let you know what we find out.

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