Measuring Capacity

Our class is learning to measure capacity by exploring how much different containers hold.

We would love to borrow any of the following items if you have them at home:

  • small scoops (e.g., coffee scoops, small plastic cups, caps from liquid laundry detergent bottles)
  • containers of pourable materials, such as beans, rice, or sand
  • a variety of clean plastic containers of various shapes and sizes (especially 1 L, 2 L, and 4 L containers)


Cyberchase: Can You Fill It?

Here are some ideas for activities to try at home from the Guides to Effective Instruction in Math:

• Find three containers (e.g., bottle, empty jar, glass). Try to find containers that have about the same capacity but are different shapes.
• Ask your child to estimate which container has the greatest capacity (i.e., which holds the most) and which container has the least capacity (i.e., which holds the least).
• Provide your child with a large spoon (or a small scoop), and a pourable material, such as rice, dried beans, or sand. Have your child count the number of spoonfuls (scoops) of material needed to fill each of the containers completely.
• Have your child compare the numbers of spoonfuls (scoops) needed to completely fill the containers. Ask him or her to identify the container with the greatest capacity and the container with the least capacity.

Thank you for helping your child measure and compare capacities at home.


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