The purpose of this activity is to engage students in using volume/capacity calculations to solve a problem.
To solve this problem, the students will need to calculate the capacity of a box from the dimensions given and to use this in order to solve a problem. The dimensions have been given in cm, so it is expected that the capacity will be found in cm³. The activity ideally follows exploration and learning in the following areas.
- Metric units of length (include conversions)
Joanna holds a block of wood against her ruler. The block starts on the 12mm mark and ends at 37mm. How long is the block in mm? In cm? In m?
- Metric units of area
What is the area of a rectangle with a base of 5 cm and a height of 12 mm? In cm², in mm², in m²?
How many cm² are there in 1 m²?
- Calculating area of a rectangle
What is the area of a rectangle with a base of 7.1 and a height of 3.2?
- Calculating volume and/or capacity of a rectangular prism
Find the volume of a rectangular block of wood that has width, depth and height of 5, 10 and 120 units respectively.
Find the capacity of a thin walled box that has width 3 units, depth 2 units and height 4 units.
- Metric units of volume
Find the volume of a rectangular block of wood that is 5 cm x 10 cm x 1.2 m.
- Finding and unknown area or length from a volume or capacity
A box has a height of 3 units and a capacity of 27 units³. Find the base area of the box.
- Solving a problem involving volume or capacity in metric units.
A box has a height of 0.3 m and a capacity of 2 700 cm³. Find the base area of the box.
The activity should be sufficiently open ended to allow the students freedom of choice in their approach. It may be scaffolded with guidance that leads to a solution, and/or the students might be given the opportunity to solve the problem independently. The approach should be chosen in sympathy with their skills and preferred method of solution.
The arithmetic approach (show more)
- The student is able to calculate the capacity of a box and to use this value to solve a problem to find an unknown height.
Prompts from the teacher could be:
- Do we know the volume of the jelly beans or the capacity of the box they are in?
- What is the base area of the new box?
- What else do we know about the new box?
- Do we have enough information to calculate the smallest height the new box could be?
The conceptual approach (show more)
- The student is able to find a method of solution that will allow him/her to find an unknown dimension of a container, within the context and specifications given.