Any ideas for doing an introduction activity on volume of prisms and cylinders?

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I know this is from a really long time ago… but when I introduced surface area and volume, I found several boxes (or made some myself) so they could be ‘filled’. The filler needs to be fairly consistent and firm to get an accurate measurement. Dried, uncooked beans are good. They are easy to scoop…and not too expensive. After we did volume, I flatted each figure into it’s surface net so kids could ‘see’ all the sides and where the formulas come from.

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For volume of cylinders… When I intro volume in sciene to students, I have them use the formula to calculate the volume of 10 pennies (cylinder) and then use the water dispalcement method in a 100 ml graduated cylinder and compare their answers.

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