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Measuring Liquid Volume

Time Frame:
2 class periods that run 45 minutes each.

Group Size:
Small Groups


This activity will allow students to practice measuring liquid volume with a graduated cylinder in a way that is both engaging and educational.

Main Curriculum Tie:
SEEd - Grade 6 (2017)Strand 6.2: Energy Affects Matter
Matter and energy are fundamental components of the universe. Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space. Transfer of energy creates change in matter. Changes between general states of matter can occur through the transfer of energy. Density describes how closely matter is packed together. Substances with a higher density have more matter in a given space than substances with a lower density. Changes in heat energy can alter the density of a material. Insulators resist the transfer of heat energy, while conductors easily transfer heat energy. These differences in energy flow can be used to design products to meet the needs of society.


  • 3 large beakers of red, yellow, and blue water colored with food coloring
  • 3 small beakers or cups per student group
  • 6 test tubes and 1 test tube rack per student group
  • 1 small graduated cylinder per student group
  • Day 1 worksheet
  • Day 2 worksheet


Instructional Procedures:
It is helpful for students to first understand what volume is before introducing the concept of density. I use this activity as my introduction to the concept of volume. Many students believe volume and mass are the same thing.

  1. Students will spend the first 45 minutes following a written procedure which allows them to create six colors of the rainbow from the three primary colors.
  2. Place students into groups and give each group three small beakers or cups, a graduated cylinder, and a test tube rack with six test tubes.
  3. Have the students follow the procedure on the student page day 1
  4. The second 45 minutes will be an inquiry activity where the students will write and record their own "recipes" for making cool colors in their test tubes.
  5. Allow the students to play with their colors and see what they come up with. I like to have a contest at the end of class and have students vote on which group they think has the best combination of colors in their test tubes.
  6. Be sure to emphasize that all color combinations or recipes must be carefully measured and recorded in their data table so that other groups could repeat their work and get the same results.

Assessment Plan:
Use this answer key.


Lesson Design by Jordan School District Teachers and Staff.

Utah LessonPlans

Created Date :
Sep 30 2014 10:27 AM