Volume Filler

Can compare two containers by pouring one into the other (although can be confused at “which holds more” at first). Fills a container using another (smaller container) and counts the number needed to completely fill the larger container (but may not use accurately filled scoops and may not focus on quantifying the total volume or capacity).

In packing situations, places cubes into a rectangular box to fill it. Eventually packs entire box with cubes in an organized way. Compares objects by physically or mentally aligning; refers to at least two dimensions of objects. May be able to compare two containers using a third container and transitive reasoning.


You may see this:

Linked Image to Sign In/Sign Up page

Other Examples:

  • Pours one container into another to see which holds more.
  • Pours one container into two others, concluding that one holds less because it overflows, and the other is not fully filled.

Help your student become a(n) Volume Filler

Activities develop early volume concepts by focusing on capacity–how much a container can hold–more than volume per se (the amount of space an object takes up). Filling a container with water can be understood initially as much as a one-dimensional measure (length–the water gets higher) than a three-dimensional measure, which is acceptable at this level, but discussions should emphasize capacity and volume language.

Water Buckets
Water Buckets
Box O
Box O' Blocks

Special Thanks To

Institute of Education Sciences
The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through grant numbers R305K050157, R305A120813, R305A110188, and R305A150243. to the University of Denver. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.