Volume Word Problems

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SWBAT use objects and reasoning to solve problems involving volume of rectangular prisms.

Big Idea

Word problems are challenging to solve, to create, and to teach. In this lesson, students solve word problems involving volume of prisms.

Guided Practice

10 minutes

This lesson comes after extensive practice with multiplication and its application to determine the volume of rectangular prisms. However, my objective is to continue to deepen this practice through continuing to use tools/models when working through problems about volume.  The guided practice is short because students are encouraged to face these challenges with independence.  

Of course, students are encouraged to ask for support when it is needed.  

This lesson is taken from the text book. For guided practice, interactive modeling is used to answer the first 3 questions.  Student work is included as an example.Sample Student Work

These links provide alternative resources that target this same objective.

comparing buildings

find the volume

Joe’s buildings


Independent Practice/Ticket Out

20 minutes

Students work in small groups to independently solve volume problems.  An example of these problems is included in the resources, along with a video of a group of students as they work through a problem.  The cubes are used to help students communicate their thinking and develop a stronger conceptual understanding.

Probing questions can be used to help the students think about the steps they are using to answer each of the questions.  Some examples include:

• If you change the length, what will happen to the other dimensions?

• Can you change the dimensions without changing the volume?

Working with models helps students develop the depth of understanding that CCSS requires.  When checking in with students, it is critical to see they are using the models to manipulate each of the steps in a multiple step problem.  In some cases, students are able to procedurally arrive at the answers, without using models.  I ask students to then use models as a tool to explain their thinking.  Procedures are abstract, students have a very challenging time explaining each of the steps of the procedure they use and also explaining their reasoning for each of these steps.  Models provide concrete examples for students use to explain the HOW and WHY behind their thinking.

Student work is collected and corrected for continuous assessment and accountability.