Teaching Volume – A Lesson Plan in Calculating Volume with MAB


Summary of lesson plan:

This activity allows students to explore the concept of volume. They will understand that volume is the amount of space a 3D object takes up. They will also be taught the formula for calculating volume.

Australian Curriculum Links:

Year 4: Compare objects using familiar metric units of area and volume (ACMMG290).
Year 5: Choose appropriate units of measurement for length, area, volume, capacity and mass (ACMMG108).

Lesson plan sequence:


  • Students to write on post-it-notes their understanding of volume. Display these on the board.
  • Discuss some of the students responses/clarify understanding.
  • Create the Definition: Volume is the amount of space a 3D object takes up. It is measured in cubic units. Cm3 or m3. Pronounced centimetres cubed or meters cubed.
  • Show the Formula: Volume=length x width x height.
  • Display the link below:
  • Model how to calculate the volume. Show another cube and have the class work out the volume.


  • Provide students with 1cm cubic blocks (MAB blocks). Their task is to pretend to be an architect. They must design as many buildings as they can, only using 6 blocks. Each side of the cube must connect to the other. They must draw their designs and must show how they calculated the volume of each.


  • Ask “Is a building 6 blocks high the same as a building 6 blocks long? What is similar and different about the buildings you have made?”
  • Provide students with the task of creating a shape that has a volume of 10cm3 – 20cm3 – 30cm3.


  • Show a picture of a bus. Explain that the person sitting at the front of the bus has complete control of their learning. The person sitting in the middle understands the task but is still a little confused. The person sitting at the back of the bus is very confused about the task.
  • Students to locate their position on the bus. They will tell their partner where they are sitting on the bus and why they are in that position.




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