Measuring capacity and volume

Home learning focus

In today's lesson you will learn about measuring capacity with non-standard units.

This lesson includes:

  • four slideshows
  • two activities

Created in partnership with Twinkl.


There is only so much liquid that a container can hold. When a container holds as much as it can, this means the container is at full capacity.

In each of the slideshows below there is a different empty container. Can you guess how many beakers of water it will take to fill these container?

Let's have look at the first container.

A bottle, jug, beaker, bucket and spoons on a table.

A container can only hold so much liquid. When a container is at its full capacity this means it cannot hold any more liquid.

1 of 5

Did you get it right?

Now take a look at the next slideshow. This time you will need to work out how many beakers of water fill a bucket.

A bucket and five beakers filled with water.

How many beakers of water do you think this bucket will hold?

1 of 6

Now, let's see how many beakers of water a glass can hold. Do you think it will hold more water than the bucket?

An empty glass accompanied by four full beakers of water.

How many beakers of water do you think this glass will hold? Do you think that all four beakers of water will fill the glass?

1 of 3

Now that you've seen how different containers can hold different amounts of water, take a look at the final slideshow and solve which container has the greatest capacity. Then you will be asked to work out if the statements about capacity are true or false.

An empty glass, bucket and jug are on a table.

Bearing in mind the previous slides, which container has the greatest capacity?

1 of 6


Activity 1

Use these engaging maths mastery cards to help you understand how to measure capacity.

Compare capacity

Activity 2

Use the next activity worksheet to practise measuring capacity using non-standard units.

Spoon challenge

There's more to learn

Have a look at these other resources around the BBC and the web.

KS1 Maths
BBC Bitesize Daily
Primary games
5 - 7 Maths
Game - Karate Cats Maths