To continue with my study of 3-D shapes, I have created a lesson to begin exploring volume. Like surface area, this is something that is often rushed through, and students are told to just “plug it into the formula.” But I have seen this lead to many unnecessary mistakes because students never actually understand where the formula comes from, and therefore they end up “plugging in” the wrong things.
Understanding WHY the formula for prisms and cylinders is V = B x h (where B stands for “area of the base”) makes sense when students can see how the area and volume relate to each other. This lesson attempts to walk them through it, and give them a visual understanding so that no matter the problem, they always think, “Oh yes, I need the area of the base and the height.”
A few materials are needed for this lesson, such as various 3D shapes from around your house. You will also need base 10 unit blocks, or something similar.
This lesson includes teaching tips, a student hand-out and an answer key.
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