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Innovation in Teaching Competition - Beyond the Textbook

We Built This City, Mastering Volume

Jennifer McIntosh
Clark Creek Elementary
Cherokee County Schools


During this two week hands-on unit, students master volume computation and science skills by building model cities. Students first construct 3D cubes and rectangular prisms to deepen their understanding of area within the context of volume. Then, students work cooperatively in teams to build a city and find both the volume and additive volume of their structures. Additionally, students create circuits to use as lights for their buildings to learn elements of circuits, insulators, and conductors.

Standard Addressed

M.5.MD.3; M.5.MD.4; M.5.MD.5

S.5.CS.1; S.5.CS.3; S.5.P.3

Available Materials

Unit Introduction
Daily Lesson Plans
“What’s the Difference?” Activity Sheet
“What’s It Take to Fill Me Up?” Activity Sheet
Volume Assessment Activity Sheet

Video of Unit

> Download this Video (To save right-click then select 'Save target as' or 'Save link as')

About the Teacher

Jennifer McIntosh is currently a 5th grade teacher at Clark Creek Elementary in Acworth, GA. Ms. McIntosh holds a Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades Education from Kennesaw State University and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from University of Georgia. Additionally, she has an Education Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Piedmont College. Her best piece of teaching advice is to build meaningful relationships with your students; once they realize you believe in them, they will rise to meet your high expectations.

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Disclaimer: The unit plans and materials on the Innovation in Teaching Competition website are aligned with Georgia’s standards through December 2014. English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics standards have been revised. The revised standards were approved by the State Board of Education on January 15, 2015. The revised ELA and Mathematics standards were renamed from the CCGPS to the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE).

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