Our class recently did a seemingly magical experiment to teach the concept of volume.
Ms. Taryn presented the students with four containers of water, each container a different size and shape. One container was short and fat, one was tall and thin, one was a pint glass, and one was pinched in the middle, vase-like. The students looked at the containers full of water and predicted which container held the most water, and then the next most…
They were all in agreement and very confident. Then we brought out the measuring cup. Each student had the opportunity to pour a container of water into the measuring cup. What were the results?
Container one had exactly one cup of water in it.
Container two had exactly one cup of water in it.
Container three had exactly one cup of water in it.
Container four had exactly one cup of water in it.
Wait. What? How could that be?
We talked about how even though the containers were different sizes and shapes, they all held the same volume! The students were shocked and amazed, much like a magic show. They learned by seeing for themselves the importance of measuring, how things may not always be as they seem, and the concept of volume.