Cubic Units


With our Cubic Units lesson plan, students learn what cubic units are and how they are used. Students practice working with cubic units and answer questions about why cubic units are important and how they are defined.

Included with this lesson are some adjustments or additions that you can make if you’d like, found in the “Options for Lesson” section of the Classroom Procedure page. One of the optional additions to this lesson is to discuss with students why a standard unit is important in mathematical procedures and show examples of what would happen if mathematicians did not use standard units.

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What our Cubic Units lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Cubic Units teaches students about cubic units, including what they are and how they are used in mathematics and in real life. At the end of the lesson, students will be able to understand that a unit cube has measurements of 1 unit for side lengths and one cubic unit is used to measure volume. This lesson is for students in 5th grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the blue box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand.

Options for Lesson

Included with this lesson is an “Options for Lesson” section that lists a number of suggestions for activities to add to the lesson or substitutions for the ones already in the lesson. To introduce the material, you can integrate it with other lessons on volume. One optional addition to this lesson is to have students use their unit cube to count cubes for volume. You can also discuss with students why a standard unit is important in mathematical procedures and show examples of what would happen if mathematicians did not use standard units.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page includes a paragraph with additional guidelines and things to think about as you begin to plan your lesson. This page also includes lines that you can use to add your own notes as you’re preparing for this lesson.


Cubic Units

The Cubic Units lesson plan includes one content page. Cubic units are a measurement that we use to find volume. We call them cubic because of their three dimensions: length, width, and height. Each of these dimensions is one unit. We can actually measure units in different ways, like in inches, feet, or meters.

To measure volume, we stack cubic units on top of or next to each other without gaps or overlaps. We then count the units. Each cubic unit is just one piece of the larger volume of a 3D object.


The Cubic Units lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. You can refer to the guide on the classroom procedure page to determine when to hand out each worksheet.


The activity worksheet asks students to cut out the shape on the worksheet and fold it to create a 3D unit cube. They will then work with other students to build different objects using their cubes and think about the volume of each object.


For the practice worksheet, students will first draw a unit cube and name the three dimensions of a unit cube. They will then circle the correct answers to several questions about unit cubes.


The homework assignment asks students to answer several questions related to the lesson material. First, they will look at three cubes and circle the unit cube. They will answer a question about what volume is and fill in the blanks in a sentence about measuring volume with the correct terms. Finally, they will explain why it’s important to use a standard unit to measure volume.

Worksheet Answer Keys

This lesson plan includes answer keys for the practice worksheet and the homework assignment. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


5th Grade



State Educational Standards


Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.