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 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/6/EE/A/2/c
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.6.G.A.2 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/6/G/A/2
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP6 http://corestandards.org/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