Many learners need to see visuals in order to make connections, especially in math. There are a few simple items you see every day that can help illustrate and teach students about the volume of rectangular prisms.
List of Objects You Can Use for Rectangular Prisms:
- Tissue boxes (attach 2 together to form a composite figure)
- Cardboard packing boxes
- Food containers
- Cereal box
- Shoe boxes
- Toothpick container
- pack of index cards
- pasta boxes
Other Suggestions for Showing Volume
Have students bring in their own objects! Ask your kids to bring in a right rectangular prism from home or even a composite figure that they can use as a “show-and-tell” type object. They’ll get excited to look around their house and have something to look forward to the next day.
Do you want to turn it into an impromptu classwork assignment?
When your students bring in their items, have each student put it on their desk and number them (you can just write on the desk in dry erase marker. You’re essentially turning each desk into its own task card.
Create a simple recording sheet to print for students or just have them grab a piece of paper and make their own. Students can work their way around the room, measuring and recording the dimensions of each person’s object. Then, they will calculate the volume.
First, determine whether they will measure the object in inches or centimeters. Many objects will not have dimensions that are even whole numbers, so I suggest having them round the measurements to the nearest whole number. If you have a high-level math class, let them measure more precisely and use decimals instead of rounding.
What other objects do you use to show students the volume of rectangular prisms?