Thursday, 21 April 2016

Ladybird Cities: Measuring Volume

To help us develop a deeper sense of space, how using formal units of measurement for volume works and either to introduce the formula for measuring the volume of cuboids and rectangular prisms, groups created a new city for ladybirds using cubic centimetre blocks.

The situation was:

Exploring Volume

Designing a Ladybird City

A loveliness of ladybirds had their city blown over
and destroyed in a strong gust of wind.  (Luckily, there were no casualties)  It is up to you to design their new city.

However, there are three designing requirements:
1 ) The city must fit completely within a square shape with an area of 900 square centimetres. (Use tape to mark the borders of your city)
2 ) All buildings must be either a cube, cuboid, or rectangular prism in shape OR created by joining those shapes together to make the design more interesting.
  Note: You are expected to draw the building so consider this when designing and constructing
3 ) The volume of each building must be a minimum of 50 cubic centimetres.

This become an going project as part of our group rotations. Whilst other groups were estimating and measuring the volume of water, measuring the volume of our classroom or estimating and measuring the capacity of boxes, other groups continued to build their cities, and measure the volumes of the buildings.
They also drew the buildings to help develop a stronger sense of what measuring volume is like:

Afterwards, they measured the volume of each building and then calculated the cost of buying it.  They needed to create a decimal price and sell the buildings based on X petals per cubic cm. 

They taped the border of the cities which needed to be an area of 900 square centimetres.

As simple as this sounds, it did generate a lot of theory building when they discussed different and effective strategies to measure the volumes.

Really seeing why the volume of a cuboid is length x height x width:

Creative thinking: This group created a Taj Mahal and created a way to measure its volume without simply counting all the cubes:

The final step was working out the capacity of their city. How many ladybirds could move in.   Some groups decided 1 ladybird per cubic centimetre, others challenged themselves more by higher numbers.

In reflecting, children felt it did give them a better understanding of using formulas and in building a stringer sense of space.

Besides all that, maths should be fun and engaging!

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