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Mass & Volume for Elementary Kids

Teaching mass and volume to elementary students doesn’t have to be difficult! Third grade standard 3.MD.2 requires students to be able to measure and estimate the volume and mass of objects. The best teaching includes real examples and authentic practice. I love to bring in some visuals for the students to see and hold. You can set these objects up on a table in the front of the room or add to a learning center throughout the unit.

Estimating Mass

Items that weigh about a kilogram:

  • wooden baseball bat
  • dictionary
  • pineapple
  • a bag of rice
  • a bunch of bananas

Items that weigh about a gram:

  • a dollar bill
  • a paperclip
  • a piece of gum
  • a pen cap
  • sugar packet

I created a coloring notes page for my class as a reference page to glue into their math notebooks, but you could just as easily have students write down examples and facts as you teach it.

After whole group guided learning and practice, it’s time for independent practice. I create several practice sheets to use throughout the week. These pages would also work in a learning center or for small group intervention.

Estimating Volume

Items measuring about a liter:

  • large shampoo bottle
  • bottles of soda (often 2 liters)
  • large carton of milk or juice

Items measuring about a milliliter:

  • 1 teaspoon = 5 milliliters
  • a single raindrop = about 1 milliliter
  • medicine in a syringe

Here is the coloring notes page for measuring volume, but again, you could simply have the kids write their own notes in their math notebooks. Practice pages for measuring volume follow the same format as measuring mass.

I like to review what students have learned about mass and volume by using task cards. I love that task cards can be used in a variety of ways….in a learning center, a whole class SCOOT game, a fun partner/ small group activity, etc.

Purchase this unit here in print or digital format by clicking on the pictures below!

Happy teaching!