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Volume and Capacity Topic Guide

Whenever you run a bath, or pour a drink of juice, you are using your knowledge of volume and capacity. Being able to judge how much liquid a container will hold is very important, if you don’t want to make a mess!

Understanding volume and capacity is a useful skill.

Teach your children about volume and capacity using our handy topic guide!

Choose a section:
Teaching Ideas | Resources | Facts | Videos | Books | Links

Teaching Ideas

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Resources

The Volume and Capacity Pack

Volume and Capacity Facts

  • Volume is how much space something takes up.
  • Capacity is how much of something a container can hold.
  • There are 1000 millilitres in one litre.
  • Millilitres and litres are used to measure the volume of liquids.
  • Cubic centimetres, written as cm3, and cubic metres, written as m3, are used to measure the volume of solids.
  • Today we use the metric system, but in the past there have been lots of different units for measuring volume. These include a peck, which was equivalent to about 9 litres.

Videos

Measure volume in millilitres and litres

A good introduction to measuring volumes and reading scales.

Running time: 5:34

Volume and Capacity

A good introduction for younger children with some interactive activities using non-standard units.

Running time: 4:15

Metric Units for Capacity

This video gives a useful overview of units used to measure capacity and how to convert between millilitres and litres.

Running time: 3:35

Books

Mr Archimedes' Bath

Why does the bath always overflow when Mr Archimedes takes a bath with his friends? This classic book is a perfect discussion starter.

Oxford Primary Illustrated Maths Dictionary

This illustrated maths dictionary explains maths concepts with clear illustrations and diagrams.

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