Students find the volume and surface area of a rectangular box (e.g., a cereal box), and then figure out how to convert that box into a new, cubical box having the same volume as the original. As they construct the new, cube-shaped box from the original box material, students discover that the cubical box has less surface area than the original, and thus, a cube is a more efficient way to package things.
In this 25-day module, students work with two- and three-dimensional figures. Volume is introduced to students through concrete exploration of cubic units and culminates with the development of the volume formula for right rectangular prisms. The second half of the module turns to extending students understanding of two-dimensional figures. Students combine prior knowledge of area with newly acquired knowledge of fraction multiplication to determine the area of rectangular figures with fractional side lengths. They then engage in hands-on construction of two-dimensional shapes, developing a foundation for classifying the shapes by reasoning about their attributes. This module fills a gap between Grade 4s work with two-dimensional figures and Grade 6s work with volume and area.
In this activity, learners explore scale by using building cubes to see how changing the length, width, and height of a three-dimensional object affects its surface area and its volume. Learners build bigger and bigger cubes to understand these scaling relationships.
Our students will be studying and exploring the human impact on groundwater. They will study the water deprivation impacts both locally and in the San Joaquin Valley. Students will explore and come to understand the benefits of collecting rainwater. We partnered with the City of Eugene and had the wonderful Jackie come in. Our students brought in many of the materials including cardboard boxes, empty plastic containers (sour cream, water bottles,etc), tin foil, wax paper, duct tape,etc. We as teachers provided the underground sprinkler tubing cutting material, more tape and supplies. We tested this project with our 5th graders so we could make improvements and continue this project next year. In order to complete this project, we needed a full three weeks of working for an hour plus every day. We incorporated this project into our reading and science timeline.