Lesson plan

Volume and a Building

Students will apply the formula V = l × w × h to find the volume for rectangular prisms in the context of solving real-world problems.
Need extra help for EL students? Try theVarious Volumes SolutionPre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try theVarious Volumes SolutionPre-lesson.

Students will be able to use the formula V = l × w × h to find the volume of rectangular prisms in real-world situations.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
Volume and Stacks
  • Show your students a base-ten hundred flat block. Have them turn and tell a neighbour what kind of maths problem a maths tool like this might help solve.
  • Have students share out ideas to the whole class and note related academic maths language used.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain that the 100's flat is a tool students will use to investigate Volume, or the measured amount of space something occupies.
  • Explain that volume is expressed by the formula: Volume = length x width x height(the product is described as cubed units).
  • Hold up a small one-unit cube to use as a model to define the dimensions length, width, and height. Explain that LengthIs the side-to-side distance when the object is facing you, WidthIs the depth of an object from front-to-back, and HeightIs the top-to-bottom measurement of the object.
  • Explain that the cube is considered one cubed unit: a unit times a unit is squared as shown by the exponent in unit² (used to measure two-dimensional shapes) and a unit times a unit times a unit is cubed as expressed by unit³(used to measure three-dimensional shapes).
  • Play the Volume of a Cube video for your students.
(5 minutes)
  • Show your class a ten-unit stick and ask, "What's the volume of this stick? How many cubed units make up this stick?"
  • Allow students to see the grooves on the item, counting 10 units and show how its volume is 10 cubed units. Encourage them to confirm their answer using the volume formula V = l x w x h. Answer any clarifying questions after they've shared their answers.
  • Hand out and preview the Volume Stacks worksheet to the whole class. Do the first exercise together and answer any clarifying questions.
(15 minutes)
  • Have your students complete the remaining exercises independently.


  • Students can use base-ten blocks to construct models of the figures on the Volume and Stacks worksheet.


  • Students can build their own version of the Stacks Biscuit Bakery box using base-ten blocks and make a poster explaining the volume using pictures, numbers, and words.
(5 minutes)
  • During independent work time, check in with students by asking them to explain as they think through an exercise item. Tease out academic language with probing and leading questions.
  • Project a problem from the Volume of a Rectangular Prism exercise and ask students to answer the question on the back of their worksheet.
(10 minutes)
  • Highlight one of the exercises from the Volume Stacks worksheet by having a student or group read and explain their problem solving process. Allow students to assist if someone gets stuck.
  • Ask students to share any alternative strategies used to solve the same problem.
  • As an exit ticket, have your students sketch an answer to the Connections question.

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