Teaching Year 3/4 Capacity – 4 Lesson Plans that will help!



This series of lesson plans allows students in Year 3/4 to engage and explore the concept of capacity. Upon the completion of these lessons, students will present a Powerpoint or other digital presentation detailing their understanding of capacity and evidence of task completion.

Australian Curriculum Links:

  • Year 2 – Compare and order several shapes and objects based on length, area, volume and capacity using appropriate uniform informal units (ACMMG037)
  • Year 3 – Measure, order and compare objects using familiar metric units of length, mass and capacity (ACMMG061)
  • Year 4 – Use scaled instruments to measure and compare lengths, masses, capacities and temperatures (ACMMG084)

Lesson Sequence:

Lesson 1:

Lesson objectives:
  • Students will identify the capacity of containers.
  • Students will draw the correct capacity.

Lesson Structure:

  • Show a container. I have a container and I want to find out its capacity. What does capacity mean? Capacity means how much it will hold. What is capacity measured in? L-litres and ml-millilitres.
  • Fun Facts:
    • Shower- 8 litres a minute. 10 minute shower uses 80litres of water.
    • Flush toilet uses 12 litres of water.
    • Bath uses 140 litres of water.
    • Swimming pool has 40000 litres.
    • Olympic swimming pool 2.5 million litres.
    • Extension: students research other water/litre facts.
  • Bring in item: coke can, milk jug, juice box etc…
  • Have students identify the capacity of each. Where can we find the capacity on the containers?
  • Order from smallest to largest.
  • Display measuring container on the board. Draw a range of gradients on the jug. How do we read the lines on the container?
  • Practice reading and changing the gradients.
  • Draw liquid in the containers and students will find out the capacity.
  • Provide students with several blank templates of measuring jugs.
  • Write capacities on the board and students will illustrate the correct capacity on their worksheets.


Collect student worksheets. Can students accurately draw capacity onto measuring jugs?

Lesson 2:

Lesson objectives:
  • Students will use a variety of containers to measure capacity.
  • Students will accurately read the scale to determine capacity.

Lesson Structure:


Observation – do students understand the concept of using measuring jugs to measure capacity of containers?

Lesson 3:

Lesson objectives:
  • Students will recognise and find containers that hold under 100mls, around 500mls and over 1 litre.

Lesson Structure:

  • Each student will be given a plastic cup. They will convert their cup into a measuring cup. Demonstrate how to convert their cup into 10ml intervals.
  • Upon completion students move onto the next activity.
  • Students will go on a hunt around the classroom and they will find a container that will hold over 1 litre, around 500 mls and under 100mls.
  • They will record this onto a pages document and will take a photo of them measuring containers.


View student’s pages document. Could they accurately find containers that hold over 1 litre, around 500mLs and under 100mLs?

Lesson 4:

Lesson objectives:
  • Students will order capacity amounts from smallest to largest.
  • They will match equivalent capacity amounts.

Lesson Structure:

  • Students will be given measurement ml and L cards. They will order themselves from the smallest amount to the largest amount.
  • On the board display different capacity measurements. Have students draw a line matching the equivalent amounts.
      • 500 ml = ½ litre
      • 1000 ml = 1 litre
      • 250 ml = ¼ litre
      • 750 ml = ¾ litre
  • Display the capacity quiz. Students will work in teams to answer the quiz questions correctly.


Have students create a mini Powerpoint or other digital presentation that demonstrates their understanding of capacity. They may choose to take snapshots of their completed work, they may wish to do extra research on capacity. Once completed they can either present them to the class, present to a group of students or they can email them to the teacher.


  • Please see above for the assessment to be conducted within each lesson.



Download the submitted lesson plans here:

4 Capacity Maths Lessons (PDF)

4 Capacity Maths Lessons (DOC)





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