Cups, Pints, Quarts, Gallons


Our Cups, Pints, Quarts, Gallons lesson plan teaches students how to identify and measure the volume of liquids using ounces, cups, pints, quarts, and gallons. Students also learn to convert these units of measurement.

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. All of the suggested adjustment relate to the lesson activity. One of these suggestions is to allow three or more students to participate in the activity at one time.

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What our Cups, Pints, Quarts, Gallons lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Cups, Pints, Quarts, Gallons equips students to identify and measure the volume of liquids using ounces, cups, pints, quarts, and gallons, as well as convert the units of measurement. Ample practice examples provide the opportunity for understanding to solidify, especially the interactive activity of measuring water in various sized containers! At the end of the lesson, students will be able to identify and measure volume of liquids using ounces, cups, pints, quarts, and gallons, as well as converting the units of measurement. This lesson is for students in 3rd grade or 4th 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. (additional sentences about equipment required)

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. All of the suggested adjustment relate to the lesson activity. One of these suggestions is to allow three or more students to participate in the activity at one time. You can also adjust the winning volumes or number of turns the students use for the game. The winner could be the person with the least volume instead of the most. You can also use additional volumes for the activity. Finally, you could have your students exchange activity scoresheets with another pair of students to check their conversion calculations.

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.


Cups, Pints, Quarts, Gallons

The Cups, Pints, Quarts, Gallons lesson plan includes two content pages. What would you say if someone offered you either two cups or one pint of chocolate milk? It doesn’t matter, because these amounts are equal to each other! This is why it’s important to understand different liquid measurements or volumes.

In the United States, we measure liquids using ounces, cups, pints, quarts, and gallons. Ounces are the smallest, followed by cups, pints, quarts, and gallons. When you drink milk at lunchtime, you’re usually drinking a half-pint. However, at home, your family might have a quart, half-gallon, or gallon of milk in the fridge.

We need to use liquid measurement for recipes, science experiments, reading drink labels, medical care, and much more. If we use too much or too little of a liquid, we could cause problems.

Next, the lesson lists some common conversions between different liquid measurements: 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons; 8 ounces = 1 cup; 2 cups = 1 pint = 16 ounces; 2 pints = 1 quart = 32 ounces = 4 cups; and 4 quarts = 1 gallon = 128 ounces = 4 pints = 16 cups. The tablespoons that we use to measure liquids are bigger than the ones we use when eating at home.

Ounces are the smallest unit of liquid measure. We often use ounces when measuring medicine. Eight ounces is equal to one cup.

Cups are used by cooks and bakers, who might use a cup of water or oil in a recipe. Two cups are equal to one pint, or 16 ounces. Pints are the same as two cups or 16 ounces. Small bottles of water are usually 16 ounces (the same as a pint).

Quarts are the same as two pints or four cups. We often buy milk in quart-sized cartons. Gallons are the largest unit of liquid measurement. The most popular thing we use gallons for is milk!

The lesson then includes a chart that you can use to easily convert fluid ounces, cups, pints, quarts, and gallons. When you use the chart to divide, any remainders will be a smaller unit of measure. The lesson includes several examples that show you how to convert between different units.

When you convert from a small unit to a larger one, you always divide. When you convert from a large unit to a smaller one, you multiply. We can use many different things to measure liquids, including cups, spoons, bowls, cylinders, buckets, and more. When you use the right container, it helps you measure more accurately. You would never use a bucket to measure one ounce of water, for example.

As a final reminder, ounces are the smallest liquid volume measurement and gallons are the largest. When converting ounces, cups, pints, quarts, and gallons, all you need to do is divide or multiply!


The Cups, Pints, Quarts, Gallons 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.


Students will work with a partner to complete the lesson activity. Each pair will cut apart the numbers and units on the worksheet, fold them, and place them into a container. They will then take turns randomly picking a volume from the container, recording them on the worksheet. They will add the volumes together as they go. The first person who picks a volume totaling 50 gallons or the person who’s picked the greatest volume after 20 turns wins!


The practice worksheet asks students to complete several exercises. For the first, they will look at images and circle the best measurement amount used to find the volume of the object in each image. They will then answer ten questions where they have to determine which unit makes more sense for each scenario (cups vs gallons to fill a dog bowl with water, for example). Next, they will compare pairs of measurements using <, >, or =. Finally, they will convert measurements from one unit to another.


For the homework assignment, students will solve five word problems.

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


3rd Grade, 4th Grade



State Educational Standards

LB.Math.Content.3.MD.A.2, LB.Math.Content.4.MD.A.1

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.

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Great reference materials for the students!!

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This lesson really helped my students to learn the 50 States

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Excellent Resource

Loved these lessons. They included everything I needed to create a well rounded lesson.