Interactive Measurement Activities for 5th Grade

Fifth graders should be able to convert volume measurements to solve problems.
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Fifth grade mathematics focuses significantly on measurement skills, according to the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Students should know how to convert units of measurements within systems and apply those concepts to real-world situations. Fifth graders also work extensively with measurements of volume, of both rectangular prisms and liquids. Interactive activities help students gain the experience necessary to perform these operations in the real world.

1 Volume Shapes Shoot Game

Sheppard Software's interactive volume game challenges players to identify the shapes constructed from different amounts and configurations of cube units. The game begins with a screen that briefly explains the concept of cubic volume. Then, on the next screen, shapes are displayed, and a sentence at the top of the screen instructs the player to click on all of the shapes that have a volume of a specific number of cubic units. Then, while the player "shoots" the shapes, counters at the bottom of the screen track her hits and misses. When she has "shot" all of the correct shapes, she moves on to the next challenge.

2 Metric Weight Match-Up

This free matching game on requires players to convert volume measurements so they can match items with equal volumes. For example, the game opens with a table of volume conversions. Then, the screen displays six panels, and each panel bears one of the following labels: 1000 grams, 1 gram, 1 kilogram, 10 milligrams, 1 centigrams and 1000 milligrams. Players complete the level by clicking on matching volumes, such as 1 kilogram and 1000 grams, and 1 centigram and 10 milligrams and so on. In the opening round, you get 100 points for each correct answer, and 20 points are taken away for each incorrect answer. You also get a 1000-point bonus for finishing the round. In subsequent rounds, the number of points given and taken away are increased incrementally.

3 Box Volumes

Bring boxes of different sizes and shapes into class, such as shoe boxes, puzzle boxes and boxes that are perfect cubes. Break the class into small groups and give each group a tape measure and a box. On the chalk board, write the formula for finding the volume of quadrilaterals: V=LxWxH. Have each group measure their box to find the volume and record the results on a sheet of paper. As they finish with their boxes, have the groups exchange boxes so that each group measures each box. Afterward, have each group place a smaller box into a larger one, and then subtract the volume of the smaller box from that of the larger one to calculate the volume of the space between them.

4 How Many Legos in the Room

Split the class into groups and give each group a tape measure and one Lego block. Tell the groups that they will have to figure out approximately how many blocks will fit in the classroom. Give them a hint: they will need to calculate volume to complete this task. Give them five minutes to plan their strategies, and then tell them to begin their work. As they need it, guide them toward the correct process: they need to find the volume of both the Lego block and the classroom, convert the measurements to equal units, and then divide the room volume by the Lego volume. On the chalkboard, provide the formula for finding volume: V=LxWxH, and the conversion of feet to inches: one foot=12 inches.

Christopher Cascio is a memoirist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and literature from Southampton Arts at Stony Brook Southampton, and a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in the rhetoric of fiction from Pennsylvania State University. His literary work has appeared in "The Southampton Review," "Feathertale," "Kalliope" and "The Rose and Thorn Journal."