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Volume Test -- Let's Roll!


Today's Snack: Since today's math activity has to do with a roll, why not have a sweet roll with a big glass of orange juice?





One piece of 9" x 12" heavy construction paper

Scissors | Scotch tape | dry rice or dry beans | measuring cup



Volume means how much space something takes up. It measures in three dimensions - height (or length), width, and depth.


Let's see if something tall and skinny can hold as much as something short and wider.


First, cut the paper in half so that you have two pieces, 9" x 6". You might want to fold it and crease it first, to make your cut straight.


Both pieces have the same area - which means how much space a flat surface covers. Area measures only a flat surface's height (or length) and width. To find out the area of these two pieces of paper, you multiply 9" x 6" = 54". Each has an area of 54".


Now let's find out if they have the same volume, too. Roll up both pieces of paper into a tube or cylinder, and tape securely. One should be rolled up the long way, so that it becomes taller and skinnier. The other should be rolled up the short way, so that it becomes shorter and wider.


The question is, does each tube hold the same amount?


First, make your guess.


Then, fill each one with measured cups of dry rice or beans. Keep track of how many cups, or fractions of cups, you used to fill each tube.


Did you guess right, or wrong?


Are you surprised by this?


Can you see practical applications in the real world for knowing this fact about area and volume?



By Susan Darst Williams Math 2010

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