**Measuring Volume**

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**Objectives: **After completing the
lesson, students will be able to:

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measure the volume of an object using three methods:
displacement, capacity, and direct measurement
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**Key Question: **"How do we
measure the volume of an object?"

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**Overview: **Students learn to
measure an object's volume using three separate methods. They fill an object
with liquid, measuring the **capacity** (in milliliters) of
the object, using a graduated cylinder. They measure the length, width, and
height of a rectangular prism, to find the volume of the object by **direct
measurement** (in
cubic centimeters) and multiplication. They then build a device out of a
plastic, 2 liter soda bottle, that allows them to measure the **displacement** (in milliliters) of an object.

**Time Required: **45-60 minutes (1 class
session).

**Materials:**

__for each group
of 3-4 students__

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2 liter, plastic soda
bottle
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`graduated cylinder`

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`metric ruler`

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a variety of small objects shaped like a rectangular
prism
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`water`

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`large bus tray`

`clear, plastic cup`

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a variety of thin walled objects that can be filled with
water
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`scissors`

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`permanent marker`

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__for each student__

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`a copy of "How to Use a Balance," pp. 7-10 in `

*Focus
on Earth Science: Laboratory Manual*

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`a copy of "Measuring: Mass," p. 32 in `

*Inquiry
Skills Activity Book*

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`a copy of "Measuring: Temperature," p. 33 in `

*Inquiry
Skills Activity Book*

** **

**Procedure: **

** **Review with students
the procedure for correctly measuring volume using a graduated cylinder (see
homework in Lesson 21--My Favorite Stuffed Animal). Stress that the units are
milliliters. Students should then determine the volume of an object by filling
it with as much water as the object can hold (capacity), and measuring the
amount of water with the graduated cylinder.

Have
students next measure the length, width, and height of a rectangular prism.
They next multiply these direct measurements together (length x width x
height), to determine the volume of the object in cubic centimeters.

Finally,
have students construct a displacement measurement tool out of a plastic, two
liter soda bottle (see the diagram below). They fill the measurement tool with
water, until it starts to run down the "chute" they have created.
Have them place a cup under the chute to catch the water that is
"displaced" from the soda bottle when an object is placed in the
water. They then measure the water collected in the cup in their graduated
cylinders, to determine (in millimeters) the volume of water the object has
displaced. Remind the students that one cubic centimeter represents the same
volume as one millimeter. They can confirm this relationship for themselves if
you can find a rectangular prism that has no top side (such as an orange juice
or milk carton with the top half evenly cut off).

**Assessment:**

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`accuracy of measurements`

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`completion of homework questions`

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**Homework: **

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`read "How to Use a Balance," pp. 7-10 in `

*Focus
on Earth Science: Laboratory Manual*`, and answer the study questions`

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`read "Measuring: Mass," p. 32 in `

*Inquiry
Skills Activity Book*`, and answer the study questions`

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`read "Measuring: Temperature," p. 33 in `

*Inquiry
Skills Activity Book*`, and answer the study questions`

** **

**OUSD Science
Content Standards (State of
California Science Content Standards): **

#1-b (7-b)

**References: **

*Focus on Earth
Science: Laboratory Manual. *Upper Saddle River, New Jersey:
Prentice-Hall Inc., 2001, pp. 7-10.

*Inquiry Skills
Activity Book. *Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall,
Inc., 2001, pp. 32-33.

**Notes: **It is a good idea to
discuss with the students why there are three different methods for measuring
volume, and what types of situations in real life require each of the three methods.
It is worth reminding the students that cubic centimeters are the same as
milliliters because water was used as the reference substance when the metric
system was created. In other words, a milliliter was defined initially as the
amount of water contained in a one cubic centimeter cube. A gram was defined
initially as the amount of water contained in this one centimeter cube.

**Key Vocabulary:**

**capacity: **the amount of liquid
an object can hold.

**direct measurement:
**finding the volume of a rectangular prism by multiplying
the length of the object by its height of the object, and then multiplying the
product times the width of the object. It is important that the measurements
for length, width, and height are taken using the same units.

**displacement: **the volume of water
that an object "pushes aside," or displacements when submersed
completely under water.