Volume of a Rectangular Prism Lesson Plan

Instructor: John Hamilton

John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.

Educate your students on how to find the volume of a rectangular prism with this helpful lesson plan. They will study a text lesson, take a related quiz on their newfound knowledge, and take part in a hands-on activity.

Learning Objectives

After studying this lesson on rectangular prisms, your students will be able to:

  • Define the term rectangular prism and give some real-world examples
  • Explain why certain objects are not classified as rectangular prisms
  • Recap how to calculate the volume of rectangular prisms using the proper formula


1 - 1.5 Hours


  • Copies of the text lesson Finding the Volume of a Rectangular Prism along with the related lesson quiz, one for each student
  • Worksheets containing 26 rectangular prism problems numbered 1-26, along with a second set of worksheets containing 26 matching solutions marked A-Z, but not in the same order as the problems worksheet; one set of worksheets for each pair of students
  • Answer key for the worksheets (one only for the teacher)
  • Internet access
  • Six small prizes

Curriculum Standards


Find the volume of a right rectangular prism with fractional edge lengths by packing it with unit cubes of the appropriate unit fraction edge lengths, and show that the volume is the same as would be found by multiplying the edge lengths of the prism. Apply the formulas V = l w h and V = b h to find volumes of right rectangular prisms with fractional edge lengths in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.


Represent three-dimensional figures using nets made up of rectangles and triangles, and use the nets to find the surface area of these figures. Apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.


  • Let your students know they are going to be studying rectangular prisms.
  • Ask them if anyone is familiar with rectangular prisms, or has even studied them in a previous class.
  • Pass out copies of the text lesson Finding the Volume of a Rectangular Prism.
  • Read the introduction and the first two sections titled 'Let's Fill a Box with Honey' and 'What a Prism Is.' Ask your students:
    • What are two real-world examples of rectangular prisms?
    • How would you define a prism? What are three examples of non-prism shapes?
    • How does the concept of a cross-cut section play into determining if an object is a prism?
  • Now read the next two sections titled 'What a Rectangular Prism Is' and 'Finding the Volume of a Rectangular Prism.' Ask them:
    • How would you define a rectangular prism, as opposed to a prism? Can you name two more examples besides cereal boxes?
    • What is the mathematical formula for finding the volume of a rectangular prism?
  • Next read the last two sections titled 'Example of Calculating Volume of a Rectangular Prism' and 'Some Cautions.' Ask:
    • Can you explain the relationship between cubic centimeters and milliliters?
    • What is an important consideration to remember before multiplying the three sides of a rectangular prism?
  • Lastly, read the 'Lesson Summary' of this text lesson.
  • Recap the entire text lesson, ask your students if they have any final questions, and have them take the lesson quiz to determine if they truly understand the new concepts.
  • When all students are done, go over the answers as a class - you may want to have students come to the board and show the solution to the problems for further review.

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