Lesson 9

Compare Capacity

Lesson Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to the concept and language used to compare capacity.

Lesson Narrative

In previous units and lessons, students compared the lengths and weights of objects. Students learned that three-dimensional shapes are solid. In this lesson, students learn about an attribute of solid shapes: capacity. Initially students compare two containers where it is visually obvious which one holds more. After this initial discussion, the cups or containers that students are comparing should have capacities that are not obviously different. For example, a shorter, wider cup and a taller, thinner cup.

Although this lesson requires some new materials and preparation, it is extremely helpful for students to have the experience of working with liquids in different shaped containers to build a conceptual understanding of comparing capacity.

  • Engagement
  • MLR8

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Compare the capacities of two objects.

Student Facing

  • Let’s compare objects to see which one holds more.

Required Preparation

Activity 1:

  • Gather a larger pitcher and a small cup to display during the launch.
  • Gather 2 cups with capacities that are not easy to compare visually, such as a tall stemmed glass and a short, wide cup for the activity.

Activity 2:

  • Each group of 4 students needs 2 cups or containers that are not easy to compare the capacity visually, such as a short, wide container and a tall, thin container.
  • Each group of 4 students needs 1 small paper cup, a container filled with water, and a plastic or foil tray.

Activity 3:

  • Gather materials from: 
    • Counting Collections, Stage 1
    • Match Mine, Stage 1
    • Shake and Spill, Stages 1-4

CCSS Standards

Lesson Timeline

Warm-up 10 min
Activity 1 10 min
Activity 2 15 min
Activity 3 20 min
Lesson Synthesis 5 min
Cool-down 0 min

Teacher Reflection Questions

What part of the lesson went really well today in terms of students learning? What did you do that made that part go well?

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