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Capacity & Volume

Compiled By: Mrs. G

Stategies to use when teaching capacity and volume.

Capacity Man
Posted by: StephR

We made this in my class.
Gallon = 8 x 11 paper = body
Quarts = 8 x 11 paper cut into 4 = legs and arms
Pints = 8 x 11 paper cut into 8 = calfs and forearms
cups = 8 x 11 paper cut into 16 = ends of arms and legs.

Then we added a head, hands and feet. By starting off with such large pieces of paper, the man becomes really big. However, if you start a gallon with a much smaller piece, then make your smaller capacity measurements off of that, it will make a much smaller man.

Posted by: Suzann

I am currently teaching capacity and volume to my 2nd graders and we are using rice to measure with instead of water. It can still get a little messy, but not as bad as water. The students are able to use it in the math center as well. I bought 10lbs of rice, but you may need more.

Posted by: kat

I just did liquid capacity with my class. I used actual containers and had the students pour from one to the other to see it really was true that there are 2c in a pint, etc. I gave a quiz on Fri. and although I haven't graded it I'm not real confident it went well. I think they can do it hands on, but they just don't get that some things need to be memorized. Hope it goes better for you! I'm moving on to weight on Monday--oz, pound, etc. Currently trying to avoid pitfalls for this lesson!

Captain Capacity
Posted by: Lauren

The head is the gallon. The eyes and nose are small t's (teaspoons) and the mouth is one long capital T..(tablespoon) Hence, 3 teaspoons in a tablespoon. The arms and legs are the quarts (4 in a gallon) and the hands and feet are the pints ( 2 in each quart and 8 in a gallon.) The fingers and toes are the cups...2 on each pint...which makes it 4 in each quart and 16 in a gallon. I have each child make an individual one with each body part being a different color. This helps them to identify the parts quickly and remember them easily. You will be surprised how much this helps!

Posted by: mamie

I tired various things but the children could not remember them. I got this from another teacher. Draw a giant "G" on the board. Then inside the giant "G" put 4 "Q's". Then inside each "Q" put 2 "P's", then inside each "P" put 2 "C's", and then inside the "C's" put the number "8". The children really can remember this. Explain that 4 quarts = 1 gallon, 2 pints= 1 quart, 2 cups = 1 pint and 8 fluid oz= 1 cup. If the children can see it they can work it. After practice in the classroom, they begin to calculate in their heads.

math lesson
Posted by: Emily

I have to say that the best way to teach capacity to 2nd graders is to actually let them experiment measuring and pouring. I've used water, which is VERY messy, but the kids love it. I've also used rice. You have to buy quite a bit of rice, but it's easier to clean up at the end.
I just finished a great unit on capacity from a book called Math Excursions - it's a project based math guide. The lessons are too long probably for your 30 minute lesson, but if you can get your hands on one, the project is very appropriate for 2nd graders and how they should learn math - it might at least give you some ideas for a thirty minute lesson.

One of the things I did was to bring in different size quart containers from around my house (bbq sauce, Tilex, car oil, lotion, water bottles, milk bottles, soda bottles). We talked about which one would hold more (at this point lots of 2nd graders think the bigger or taller, the more it will hold, but it was a very interesting discussion). Then I partnered them up with another 2nd grader and they were in charge of one quart container (I labeled each container with a letter). They used water, a funnel and and 8oz (1 cup) measuring unit to see how many cups were in their quart. I made them test 3 times for accuracy. Then we came back and discussed their results. If there were any major discrepancies, I checked their work by measuring the quart in front of them. We came to the conclusion that most quarts hold 4 cups, some quarts hold a little more than 4 if they have extra space at the top.

If you're a constructivist, this is a great way for 2nd graders to draw their own conclusions based on their experiences.

Hope this helps! Good luck on your lesson. I hope that it works out!

Make a visual
Posted by: Jaime

I make a great visual for teaching equiv measures of capacity. It is hard to describe my visual but I will give it a try..I call her Cassidy Capacity. I take a red peice of tag baord to be the body and write one gallon on it. I then take a peice of blue tag board and cut it the long way into fourths. These then become the legs and arms (write 1 quart on each) and attach with the little brass "thingies". I then take a peice of green tag board and cut into eights and these become hands and feet (write pint on each). Yes cassidy is a little strange and has two hands and feet on each arm and leg. I then use an orange peice of tag board and make 16ths (cups). Two of these get attached to each hand/foot to be fingers and toes. I know it sounds strange but the kids really get it! I also put a paper head on her body. They are able to look at it and see how many cups are in a quart or a gallon. I have noticed that there are companies now making these in their catalogs.

My school uses the Everyday Math program so I incorporate this visual into one of their lessons. We also play with water in the sink but more as demonstration or children taking turns coming up. I bring in a gallon milk container, half gallon milk, and then quart, pint, and cup water bottles. I label each of these containers so they see the name of them.

Good luck, let me know if you need more info, or ignore this if it sounds crazy to you!

Did you know .. . .
Posted by: chris

Relate base ten blocks to metric capacity and weight!!!

Did you know that a thousands cube represents a liter capacity?
A tiny unit cube = 1 milliliter.

Show your students how you can pour a liter bottle of water into a liter cube.

If you weigh the liter of water it = 1 kilogram and and a tiny unit cube filled with water weighs one gram!

I made a liter cube out of laminated centimeter paper, taped all side and filled it with water but it doesn't last. You can buy liter cubes through most math/science catalogs.

Ask how many ml of a liquid would fill a tiny unit cube, a tens rod, a hundreds flat, a thousands cube?
How much would each of them weigh in g/kg?

Posted by: Aly

Last year, I had 2 centers that the kids liked (both are described in Van de Walle's Elementary & Middle School Mathematics).

1)Capacity Sort:
You have a target container, such as a hot cocoa tin, and students are to sort other containers based on whether they hold more than the target, less, or about the same. First, they predict for each container whether it will hold more, less or the same. Then they determine which will actually hold more/less/the same by using a filler like beans or rice and a scoop. I used an answer sheet with a picture of each container being judged, with the words underneath that said "holds more," "holds less" and "holds about the same" with the instructions to circle one. I used the same answer sheet for the round of predictins and the round of testing; they circled "what we guessed" or "what we found" to indicate which was which.

2)Capacity Lineup
Give students a series of 5 to 6 containers of various sizes and they need to order the containers from least volume to greatest. They can again use a filler and a scoop to help solve the problem but they should work in a group to figure out how to use the materials to solve the problem. At the end I had them record the order of the shapes from least to greatest.

I hope these help! : )

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Another name
Posted by: teachr2nd

We call this the "Land of Gallon." It is the same idea but we tell a story. The Land of Gallon has two Queens (qts.), each Queen has a prince and a princess (pts.) and each prince and princess have two children (cups). The kids seems to remember how to draw the diagram by retelling the story.

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3-D Measurement Man
Posted by: trexteach

When I taught 2nd grade, I went to a nearby, (Well, actually about an hour away!) dairy factory where they generously supplied me with new, empty pint and quart containers. I collected some used half-pint cartons from the cafeteria, cleaned them out, and taped them shut. I also cleaned out one of my empty gallon jugs. I attached them all together with yarn so that they looked like the "Gallon Guy" the others have attached to their posts. I added a face and we called him the Measurement Man. I hung him up as a display that we could continue to refer to when we discussed liquid measure. I also sent home a Measurement Man page so the students and their parents could see the relationships. I actually had some parents thank me for this because they said it even made seeing the relationships easier for them to remember!

I kept him stored in a locker for future use. The kids really benefitted from this hands-on 3-D model.

With my 5th graders (Your second graders could even use this too, though), I use the giant "G" (for gallon) that has 1 "Q" (for quart) filling up each corner of the "G". Then there are 2 "P"s (for pints) that fill up the "Q". Next, there are 2 "C"s (for cups) inside each "P". This is a quick thing the students can memorize and write onto their worksheets, quizzes, or test papers to help them remember the relationships. (Sorry--This is much easier to understand visually than written out like I have!)

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Math games
Posted by: Angie

I made a measurement equivalency game by cutting a large gallon out of construction paper (make it even measurements) and then I cut quarts (1/4 of the gallon) out in a different color, pints (1/8 of the gallon) in another color, and cups (1/16) in another color. I ask questions like "How many quarts in a gallon?" or "show me 1 1/2 gallons" and the groups must make it with the materials.
I have a proabbility game called Rollar Derby that calls for gameboards and tokens. That could be made homemade. I could tell you more in an email. I have made "Wallets" to teach about counting money and making change and adding/subtracting decimals. You take a square of tagboard (not the whole sheet) and fold it in half. Then you fold it in half the other way to create a paper wallet. I use contact paper and put real coins between two sheets to show a certain amount of money. THen I label all the wallets with famous people or people the kids know and write a certain amount of money on the wallet to match one of the sets of coins. They have to count and then match the money to the wallet. You can do many things with these.
I hope I helped!