Intro to Volume and Mass

By Laura Hospitál on Oct 10, 2016

In this activity, students with visual impairment will compare volume and mass and gain a better understanding of these concepts.


  • mass
  • volume
  • weight
  • gram
  • liter
  • cubic centimeter


  • Prepare 2 cubes of identical size and shape, as in the picture.
  • The objects should have clearly different masses that are evident when the students pick them up.  A set up density cubes provides cubes of identical size and shape that meet this criteria, but this activity could be done with other objects.


  • 2 cubes of identical size and shape


After introducing the concepts of mass and volume, students will relate them in this activity.  

  1. Pass around the objects and ask the students if they have the same volume.  Make sure that they are in fact exactly the same volume as I have had several students discover a minor difference (thus ruining the object lesson).
  2. If students are not completely clear on the meaning of volume, add" Do they take up the same space? - Are they the same size? 
  3. Discuss the identical volume of the two cubes with the students.  How did they decide that the cubes have the same volume? They are the same size  and take up the same space.
  4. Then ask the students to hold one cube in each hand, Ask - Do the cubes have the same mass?  Do they feel like they are equal? The students should indicate that one cube seems to "weigh" more.
  5. Discuss how it it is possible for 2 cubes have the same volume but not the same mass.
    1. If the students in the class have studied atomic structure, ask the class why one cube of the same volume can have more mass? - The atoms which make it up have more protons and neutrons and therefore more atomic mass.
    2. If the students are not studying atomic structure, simply explain that the cube with more mass is made of a different type of matter with different proprieties. 
  6. Have students measure the mass of the two cubes using a simple balance or electronic balance talking scale.
  7. Discuss the findings. 
  8. Proceed with the lesson on weight and mass as per the curriculum you are using. 




  • This activity could be completed with two other identical objects. 

NGSS Standards:

Middle School

Substances are made from different types of atoms, which combine with one another in various ways. Atoms form molecules that range in size from two to thousands of atoms. (MS-PS1-1)


Pinterest collage of intro to volume and mass

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