Step Two: Introduction to Finding Volume of Rectangular Prisms with Units
Ask students to draw (if using blank paper), cut out, and fold their measurement cubes (you may want to demonstrate this if students do not know how to cut out and fold their own cubes). The measurement cubes will be students’ “chocolates," and if there is time, students may want to inscribe their logos on the “chocolates" that will be going in the shipping boxes. Once students have made a few cubes, ask them to estimate how many cubes they think they are going to need to fill the shipping boxes, and to write their estimates down.
After allowing 10-15 minutes to make the cubes, stop the class for a discussion on volume, and situations where people would need to know the volume of objects (you may want to present examples such as filling a swimming pool, packing food items to ship to grocery stores, knowing how much a semi-truck can carry to transport items, etc.).
Students will be asked to begin filling their shipping boxes with their chocolates, and to continue making cubes to fill the boxes until they are full.
Once boxes are full, ask students to count out the number of cubes they used, and to write the number down along with their original estimates and compare them.
Then ask students to lay their empty shipping boxes on the desks. Next to the empty shipping boxes, students will take the number of cubes they used to fill the boxes and construct a replica of the empty shipping box, noting the length, width, and height of the box in units. They will then write down the dimensions of the replica.