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Title
Box It Up
Lesson Objective
The student will be finding the volume of rectangular prisms.
Background Information for Teacher
The volume of a prism is the amount of space inside the prism.
Student Prior Knowledge
N/A
Materials:
Counting on Frank, book (This book should be available at your local library, or you can view it in Step 3)
Let’s Build Boxes (Step 3)
Two-cm graph paper (Step 3)
Multilink cubes
Scissors
Tap
Which Box? (Step 3)
Step-by-Step Guided Lesson
Step 1: Start Video
(Tips: Interact with the video by pausing, to ask questions or discuss information viewed with student.)
Step 2: Teach Lesson
Volume is measured in cubic units, which means it tells how many cubes of a given size it takes to fill the prism. The formula for
volume of a right rectangular prism is length x width x height. The formula for volume of a right prism with a triangular base is 1⁄2
(length x width) x height.
Read the book, Counting on Frank
, to your student. Discuss all of the different things the boy measures in the book. Define volume
and look in the book for all of the ways the boy finds volume – 24 Franks in his bedroom, ten humpback whales in the house, 1/10 of
his dad in the portable television, peas in the dining room, and 745 jellybeans in the jar. Have the student write a summary about
Frank and his “pet” boy. Have the student pick a new object and write how many of those objects they think it would take to fill their
bedroom. Have the student share the ideas. Explain that we don't usually measure volume in Franks, humpback whales, peas, or
jelly beans; instead, we use cubic units to measure volume.
Give your student the Let’s Build Boxes (Step 3)
. Explain to the student that they are part of a company that builds boxes. Their
department is in charge of making the bottom part of the box. They need to make different size boxes and determine how much each
box can hold, or the volume of that box.
Give the student 4 pieces of two-cm graph paper. Hold up a sheet of graph paper and demonstrate how to trim it to a 9 x 11
rectangle. Have the student trim each sheet of graph paper to a 9 x 11 rectangle. Ask the student how many unit squares they have
on each sheet. Make sure they understand that each sheet has 99 unit squares.
Hold up a sheet of trimmed graph paper and cut one unit square from each corner. Fold up the outside rows to make a box. Tape the
corners. Tell the student to do the same thing to one of their papers. Then have the student use multilink cubes to fill the boxes.
Discuss their findings. What strategies were used to figure out how many cubes were needed? Did the entire box need to be filled
with cubes before knowing how many would be needed?
Have the student fill in the information for Box 1 on the Let’s Build Boxes
assessment. You may need to fill in the data for the first box
together.

Hold up your second sheet of trimmed paper and cut a 2 x 2 unit square from each corner. Fold up the sides to make a box. Have the
student do the same with one of the sheets. Have the student make predictions about how many cubes it will take to fill this new box.
Will it be more or less than the last box? Use multilink cubes to fill the new box and record the results on Let’s Build Boxes
.
Discuss the results. How many did it take? Did it take more or less than the last box? Were the predictions correct? If not, why do
they think the predictions were off? What strategies were used to find the number of cubes needed? Did the entire box need to be
filled with cubes before knowing how many would be needed?
Hold up your third 9 x 11 sheet and cut a 3 x 3 unit square from each corner. Make it into a box. Have the student do the same with
one of the sheets. Have the student make predictions about how many multilink cubes it will take to fill the next box. Since it took
more cubes to fill the second box, will it take more for the third?
Have the student use multilink cubes to fill the new box and record results on Let’s Build Boxes
. Discuss the results. Did it take more
or less cubes to fill the third box? Why do you think that is the case? Did you use any different strategies this time to find the number
of cubes needed?
Hold up the final sheet of graph paper and cut a 4 x 4 unit square from each corner. Make a box. Have the student do the same with
the last sheet of graph paper. Make predictions on how many multilink cubes it will take to fill the new box. Will it take more or less
than Box 3? Why do they think that? Have the student use multilink cubes to fill the new box and record results on Let’s Build Boxes
.
Have student complete the worksheet. Discuss what they noticed about the worksheet. Did they find any patterns? Is there an easier
way to find volume than by building boxes and filling them up with multilink cubes?
Have the student come up with a formula for finding volume of rectangular solids.
Have students draw a box and label its dimensions. Have them write a paragraph explaining their findings of the activity. Have them
record the formula for volume and find the volume of the box they drew.
Have students complete the assessment, Which Box?
Step 3: Complete the worksheet attached below.
Worksheets needed to complete the lesson
Counting on Frank
Step 4: Review. Start the next lesson with the game or activity attached below for review so the student can demonstrate
understanding of this lesson before moving forward.
Volume of a rectangular prism (online) game