Introduction to Capacity - 5/6 - School is Always Cool With Mr. Kohler

Grade 5: D6- solve simple problems involving volume and capacity
B2- multiply 2,3,4 digit numbers by 1 digit numbers
Grade 6: D6- continue to solve measurement problems involving capacity
1. Introduction:
Probing questions:
What do we remember about volume?
How is volume measured?
What are the 3 features of a 3D object used to calculate volume?
What are the units?
Why is it cm3?
Volume is the amount of space occupied by a three dimensional object.
Capacity is the amount a container is capable of holding.
The volume units they will generally encounter are cubic centimetres (cm3), cubic
decimetres (dm3), and cubic metres (m3)
Capacity units will be millilitres (mL) and litres (L).
2. Development:
Capacity units are usually associated with measures of liquid,
e.g., litres of milk, juice, fuel oil, and gasoline.
Develop personal referents for these units
e.g., The small cube in the base-10 blocks is 1 cm3 and would hold 1mL and the large
cube is 1dm3 and would hold 1L
1 cm3(unit) = 1 mL,
1 dm3(cube) = 1L,
1m3(mega cube) = 1 kL
A unit (1 cm x 1 cm x 1 cm) has a volume of 1 cubic centimetre and would displace 1
mL of liquid in a container
The large cube (10cm x 10cm x 10cm) has a volume of 1000mL or 1L, and would
displace 1000mL or 1L of water
TEST IT OUT- Unit, rod, flat, cube
If the unit displaces 1mL of water and the cube 1L(1000mL) of water, how much
does the rod displace (10mL)?
What about the flat (100mL)?
How do you know?
3. Expansion:
While capacity and volume are both measures of the size of a 3-D region of space,
Capacity units (mL, L, kL) are usually associated with measuring liquids and/or the
containers that hold fluids.
Volume units (cm3, dm3, m3) are more commonly associated with solid objects. Ask
students to decide whether they would use volume units or capacity units to
Taking cough syrup (mL), buying gasoline (L), determining the amount of air in a
room (m3), getting a flu shot (mL), buying a bed (m3), filling a swimming pool (L),
living space in a house (m3 or cubic feet)
Have them compare their answers and defend their choices.
Invite groups of students to investigate the capacities of various beverage
containers to determine which size container is found most often. They might
record their findings in a graph or table and present it to the class.
-ACTIVITYPencil and Paper:
Tell students that a container holds 1.5 L. Ask if it is large enough to make a jug of
orange juice if the concentrate is 355 ml and you have to use the concentrate can to
add three full cans of water as well as the concentrate (355mL).
355x3= 1065
Don’t forget to add the concentrate!
1065+355 = 1420mL or 1.42L
355x4= 1420mL or 1.42L
Ask grade 6 students to give an answer in mL and L.