I wanted a new way to open up our volume unit so I asked google...and it led to this great video! I usually teach surface area and volume and do lots of projects. We were short on time because of the pacing so we only did volume of cylinders, cones, and spheres. I tried to find lessons that would go deeper since the content was shortened. I have also tried to do "patient problem solving" with my kids this year in my efforts to make them creative problems solvers! The video did the volume of their classroom with chickpeas. I didn't think my 8th graders would think that was too cool so we did Starburst.
We talked about the problem before we got started to make a plan. They all knew right away that we needed the volume of the room. Prodding to get that we needed the volume of the starburst took more effort than I thought it would. We sketched the room, grabbed yard sticks and rulers, and started measuring. Some measured by blocks and tiles and some measured by yards. I love watching how differently each group approaches a problems.
I love to watch them problem solve to find the answers to these kind of questions. It wasn't a difficult task, but it made them start thinking in volume.
It turned out to be a great intro. It also gave us something to go back to when we talked about layers in our shapes.