Lesson Plan

Capacity Comparison

Your class will love this outdoor activity that teaches them how to compare the capacity of different containers.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Exploring Capacity pre-lesson.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Exploring Capacity pre-lesson.

In this math and measurement lesson plan, young learners will explore how various containers have different capacities. Children will learn or review key terms such as “capacity,” “attributes,” and “prediction.” Then, after recording their own predictions, young scientists will measure scoops of water into different containers and record how many scoops of water it takes to fill them to capacity. Geared toward kids in kindergarten through second grade, this hands-on activity is a great way to introduce young minds to the scientific process.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to compare the capacity of different containers based on the container's attributes.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments

Introduction

(10 minutes)
  • Gather the students together and show them your cup of water, tea, or coffee.
  • Ask the students to think-pair-share what the maximum amount of liquid your cup can hold is called.
  • Allow a few students to share their ideas with the rest of the class.
  • Explain to the students that the maximum amount of liquid your cup can hold is called its capacity.
  • Tell the students that today they will be comparing the capacity of different containers based on the container's attributes.

Beginning

  • Provide students with a notecard with the word capacity in English and their home language (L1).
  • Ask students to draw a picture of your cup of water, tea, or coffee on the back of the notecard to refer to throughout the lesson.
  • Encourage students to say the word "capacity" orally in English and their L1.

Intermediate

  • Encourage students to explain what capacity means in their own words to a partner.