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This activity will give students a better understanding of the concepts of area and volume.
Investigations in Number, Data, and Space – Containers and Cubes (Dale Seymour Publications)
Many students have a difficult time understanding the concepts of area and volume. The standard unit of volume in the metric system is the liter.
3. Reason mathematically.
Invitation to Learn
Show a box that has centimeter grid marks on the outside. Ask the students if they could guess how many multi-link cubes could fit inside. Have them construct multi-link cubes so that it looks like the shape of the box. Ask the students if there is another way to arrange the multi-link cubes in order to get another box that is a different shape. How many different boxes can they find? Have them record their results both pictorially and using numbers (2 x 3 x 5).
Math/ScienceHave students use what they know about volume and surface area to come up with the dimensions of the container that will keep liquid hot the longest. The total volume of the object cannot be greater than 1,000 cubic centimeters.
Using other three-dimensional shapes, such as cones and prisms, come up with another model, and find its volume and surface area.
Homework & Family Connections
Have the students take their models home and share them with their parents, describing what they have learned about the relationship of surface area and volume. Have parents sign a note stating what they think their child has learned from this project.
When the groups have completed their projects, they will send a spokesperson to the front of the room to share with the class what they have built, what it is called, and how it compares to some of the other models built by other groups. They will also tell the class the total volume and surface area of their model.