Fill 'Er Up

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SWBAT estimate then determine the volume of several figures

Big Idea

How close can you come?


5 minutes
  • POD

As students enter the room, they will have a seat, take out their Problem of the Day (POD) sheet and begin to work on the question on the SMARTboard. The POD allows students to use MP 3 continually based on the discussions we have about the problem each day.

I want to remind students of the vocabulary we covered in the mini unit. We are estimating as part of the activity today so I want students to review the differences between figures so they can make good estimates to compare with the actual volume.

Describe the difference between a rectangular prism and a square prism.


30 minutes

This is our introductory activity into finding the volume of 3D figures. Using a number of different shapes, I will distribute different figures to different table groups. My goal is to give different size figures to different groups so they are all forming the same answers. I want students to estimate the volume of each of the figures at their table. After they make the estimation for each figure, students will use centimeter cubes to fill the shapes. Once the figures have been filled with centimeter cubes, students will count the number of cubes it takes to fill each figure. Students will compare their estimations with the actual number and develop a strategy for finding the volume of each figure.

Shape 1: Rectangular prism

Shape 2: Triangular prism

Shape 3: Cube

Shape 4: Cylinder

Shape 5: Triangular pyramid

Shape 6: Square pyramid


5 minutes

The exit ticket today will prompt students to think about how to form a good estimate for volume. Wild guesses and low estimates won’t help so how do they know what a good estimate is?

How do you know what a good estimate is for the volume of a figure? Give an example to support your answer.