Density Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Use this lesson plan to guide your instruction on density. Students will read a text lesson that defines the term, provides the formula, then uses simple examples to walk students through the process before allowing them to experiment with ideas on their own.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'density'
  • share and explain the formula for density
  • compute density of objects


1 - 1.5 hours


  • A screen to show the video and printed copies of the lesson Density Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts, one for each student
  • Pillow
  • Brick
  • Measuring tape or rulers
  • Balances or weight scales, one for each partner-pair
  • Blocks of varying sizes

Key Vocabulary

  • Density
  • Mass
  • Volume

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.1

Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3

Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.4

Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.

  • CCSS.Math.Content.5.MD.C.5

Relate volume to the operations of multiplication and addition and solve real world and mathematical problems involving volume.

Warm-Up and Preparation

  • Start the lesson by showing students the pillow and brick and asking:
    • Which has more density?
  • Allow students to discuss in small groups, then share answers as a whole class.
  • Ask students what they think density means and why, then tell them they will be learning about density for today's lesson.
  • Tell students to label their notebooks 'Density.'

Direct Instruction

  • Distribute the lesson Density Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts and watch the first section, 'Understanding Density,' with students.
  • Define density and ask if any student wants to change their answer about bricks or pillow being denser, sharing reasoning.
  • Have students record the formula for density in their notebooks.
  • Now watch 'Finding Mass and Volume' with students.
  • Divide students into partner-pairs and give each a few different-sized blocks.
  • Have students find the volume and mass of each using the rulers/measuring tapes and balances, listing their findings on a chart in their notebooks.
  • Watch the 'Examples of Density' section with students, pausing to allow them to do the calculations.
  • Now have students determine the density of their blocks, recording in their notebooks.
  • Combine partners to make groups of four and have them check one another's answers, then share as a whole class.
  • Watch the 'Lesson Summary' and take the quiz.

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