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Lesson plan

7. Pack rectangular prisms with unit cubes to find volume (FP)

teaches Common Core State Standards MP6 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP6
teaches Common Core State Standards 5.MD.C.3.b http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/5/MD/C/3/b
teaches Common Core State Standards 5.MD.C.4 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/5/MD/C/4

7. Pack rectangular prisms with unit cubes to find volume (FP)

Lesson objective: Pack rectangular prisms with unit cubes to find volume

This lesson helps to build procedural skill with calculating volume of rectangular prisms. Unit cubes are used here to pack the inside of rectangular prisms in order to determine the volume of the solid figures. This work develops students' understanding that a solid figure which can be packed without gaps or overlaps using n unit cubes is said to have a volume of n cubic units.

Students engage in Mathematical Practice 6 (attend to precision) as they pack rectangular prisms with unit cubes to find volume. Students must ensure that there are no gaps or overlaps between unit cubes. They also must pay careful attention to the units of measure being used. 

Key vocabulary:

  • unit cubes
  • cubic units
  • volume
  • pack
  • rectangular prism

Special materials needed:

  • unit cubes