Lesson 4
Use Layers to Determine Volume
Lesson Purpose
The purpose of this lesson is for students to apply their understanding of the layered structure of rectangular prisms to find the volume of a prism when they cannot see all of the cubes.
Lesson Narrative
In previous lessons, students used the layered structure to determine the volume of rectangular prisms that were filled with cubes. The purpose of this lesson is to extend their understanding of the structure of rectangular prisms by conceptualizing a base layer in a rectangular prism and utilizing it to find the volume in a fully or partiallyfilled prism. Students connect the layered structure to multiplication when they write and interpret expression that represent the volume of rectangular prisms (MP2, MP7). This is a conceptual way for students to make sense of the associative property of multiplication. Students do not, however, need to name or identify the property.
 Action and Expression
 MLR7
Activity 1: Layers in Rectangular Prisms
Learning Goals
Teacher Facing
 Describe and represent the volume of a rectangular prism as the product of the number of cubes in one layer and the number of layers.
 Write and interpret expressions and equations in the context of the volume of rectangular prisms.
Student Facing
 Let's relate multiplication to how we use layers to find volume.
Required Materials
Materials to Gather
Required Preparation
Activity 1:
 Have connecting cubes available for students who need them.
Activity 2:
 Have connecting cubes available for students who need them.
CCSS Standards
Lesson Timeline
Warmup  10 min 
Activity 1  20 min 
Activity 2  15 min 
Lesson Synthesis  10 min 
Cooldown  5 min 
Teacher Reflection Questions
Suggested Centers
 Can You Build It? (3–5), Stage 3: Rectangular Prisms (Addressing)
 Five in a Row: Multiplication (3–5), Stage 3: Twodigit Factors (Supporting)
Print Formatted Materials
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Additional Resources
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