Students love learning about volume of rectangular prisms while measuring real world 3D shapes! This an inquiry based activity where students will explore rectangular prisms and come up with the volume formula with your guidance. It’s a low prep activity that will be loved by both students AND teachers. You’ll provide real world examples of rectangular prisms (tissue boxes, cubes, dry erasers, pencil boxes, etc).
In this math inquiry activity, students will learn how to find the volume of rectangular prisms in a real world setting.
What does this math resource include?
- Teacher Direction Page
- Student Recording Sheet
- Pictures of How to Implement
Tips for implementing:
1: Encourage students to bring in rectangular prisms from home. You can also supply your own items from around your classroom. Number the prisms.
2: Students will use rulers or measuring tapes to find the length, width, and height of each rectangular prism. They should write the measurements on the recording sheet. Once they measure, students can multiply the three dimensions to calculate the volume of each rectangular prism.
3: Put one prism on each student desk and place a few extras around the room. As students measure the rectangular prisms and calculate the volume, they will move to a different desk around the room until they have found the volume of each rectangular prism.
4: If you are looking for an easy way to differentiate, put the even numbers on smaller items and the odd numbers on larger items. Then, assign your lower level group to the even numbers and the above level group to the odd numbers. This will help students spend more time on finding volume and less time on multiplying large numbers.
Why use inquiry based learning?
“In inquiry based learning, teachers use questions, problems and scenarios to help students learn through individual thought and investigation. Instead of simply presenting facts, the teacher encourages students to talk about a problem and draw on their intuition to understand it. Inquiry-based learning also focuses on letting students ask their own questions — essentially providing their own inquiry. Student-led questions follow teacher-guided inquiry.” – University of Texas
The best part? Your students will never forget the volume formula now! This resource is easy to use and requires very little prep. It’s also printer friendly so you’ll only use black ink!
Supports Common Core Standards:
5.MD.C.3 Recognize volume as an attribute of solid figures and understand concepts of volume measurement.
5.MD.C.4 Measure volumes by counting unit cubes, using cubic cm, cubic in, cubic ft, and improvised units.
5.MD.C.5 Relate volume to the operations of multiplication and addition and solve real world and mathematical problems involving volume.
5.MD.C.5a Find the volume of a right rectangular prism with whole-number side lengths by packing it with unit cubes, and show that the volume is the same as would be found by multiplying the edge lengths, equivalently by multiplying the height by the area of the base. Represent threefold whole-number products as volumes, e.g., to represent the associative property of multiplication.
Teachers Like You Say This:
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “Great resource and kids love the interactive manner of working on this skill.”
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “I love the step-by-step instructions, the suggestion for differentiation–have several ‘low’ math students in my class–and the “real world” suggestions for types of rectangular prisms you could use.”
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