Lesson Plan

Volume as Additive: Create a Hamster Mansion

Students will practice calculating volume as an additive property by making mock hamster mansions from boxes. Groups will calculate the volume of living space that they designed for their hamster in cm³ and document their work.
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Learning Objectives

Students will be able to calculate the volume of two adjacent rectangular prisms by adding the volumes of the two figures.


(5 minutes)
Volume as Additive: Data for My Hamster Mansion Activity
  • Invite students to think about the space around them: their school, apartment or home. Someone designed those spaces.
  • To get students thinking as designers, in small groups or pairs, prompt them to list some of the issues that architects need to think about when they design a living or work space for people. What things do they need to consider? Possible ideas include: bathrooms, size of rooms, being able to move from one floor to the other, place to eat, etc.
  • Share out ideas, for fun.