## Counting on Frank

This is a measurement activity based on the picture book Counting on Frank.

## About this resource

This activity, Frank’s units: Estimating and measuring volume, is based on the picture book *Counting on Frank *(words by Rod Clement and illustrations by Rod Clement).

Specific learning outcomes:

- Explore and compare the volume of different containers using non-standard and standard units.
- Explain why standard units of volume are necessary when making comparisons.

# Counting on Frank

## Achievement objectives

GM2-1: Create and use appropriate units and devices to measure length, area, volume and capacity, weight (mass), turn (angle), temperature, and time.

## Description of mathematics

To understand measurement concepts such as length, rate, or volume, it helps to create units from our everyday experience and use these to compare to standard units.

Estimation is an important skill in measuring and comparing attributes.

## Required materials

- cubic centimetres from place value blocks
- objects to fill boxes and jars
- containers of different shapes and sizes, including large boxes and jars
- rulers and measuring cups
*Counting on Frank*by Rod Clement

# Activity: Frank’s units: Estimating and measuring volume

Frank is a big dog, and Frank’s owner has a brain and knows how to use it when it comes to numbers. Frank’s owner shares his knowledge of the size and scope of things such as the growth rate of a gum tree or the volume of the shopping trolley. It is a humorous look at measurement and comparison.

**1.**

Prior to reading, make the connection to the story by pointing out the lolly jar on the cover and ask:

- Who has tried to guess the number of lollies in the jar?
- What strategies did you use to make your guess?
- Did any of you ever win?
- Do you have to get the exact number?
- What does estimation mean?

**2.**

Share the book with the students, drawing their attention to the times when Frank’s owner makes an *estimate* (like when he uses the word “about”), when he calculates (exact numbers), and when he just *knows* a fact. You can have one student record all the measurements on the whiteboard or modelling book as you read the story, so the numbers can be re-visited at the end.

**3.**

After reading, ask:

- How do you think he knew there were 745 jelly beans in the average lolly jar?

**4.**

Show the students a jar and have them estimate and record on scrap paper how many “lollies” will fit inside. Don’t show them how big the “lollies” will be. Save the “guesses. Demonstrate filling the jar with extra large “lollies” (such as large beads or tennis balls) and record the number, and then with extra small “lollies” (such as counters or beads) and record the number. Introduce the term "volume" and discuss how the number describes how much space inside the container is filled. Discuss why the volume of large lollies is smaller than the volume of small lollies.

**5.**

In pairs or small groups, ask the students to explore the idea of volume with the containers in the room. Ask them to select two containers and fill them both with the same objects (create a unit) and record their measurements with diagrams of the containers and a description of the volume using their chosen unit.

**6.**

Allow students the opportunity to share their recordings with the class and to compare the measurements.

**7.**

If students are confident with this type of activity, you can move on to using standard units such as centimeters. Measure the height, length, and width of small boxes, and then fill them with place value blocks. Compare the count of the blocks and the calculation using the formula: volume = length x width x height.

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