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Lesson Plan

5. Find dimensions of rectangular prisms built with fractional edge length cubes (A)

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.6.EE.A.2c
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.6.G.A.2
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP6
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Lesson objective: Determine how many fractional-unit cubes it takes to fill a rectangular prism of a given volume.

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge and understanding of volume to a real-life situation. Students are asked to determine how many 'Pow-R-Cubes' are needed to level up in a video game; the Pow-R-Cubes are different sizes and fill different-sized rectangular prisms.

Key Concept students will use: 

  • The formula for volume of a rectangular prism is connected to filling the prism with unit cubes.

Skills students will use:

  • finding volume using V=lwh  (Grade 5, Unit 9)
  • fraction multiplication (Grade 5, Unit 7)

Students engage in Mathematical Practice 7 (Look for and Make Use of Structure) as they become more fluent in using fractional-edge-length cubes to fill rectangular prisms; for example once students identify that 8 half-unit cubes have a volume of 1 cubic unit, they can determine how many cubes will fill a prism of any other volume or dimensions.

Key vocabulary: 

  • cubic units
  • half-unit cube
  • rectangular prism
  • whole-unit cube
  • volume

Special materials needed:

  • cm cubes or unit cubes from Base Ten Blocks to represent 'half-unit' or 'one-fourth-unit' cubes 
Related content

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Problem solving with volume and surface area

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