Comparing volume and capacity

Home learning focus

In today's lesson you will learn about capacity and volume, specifically relating it to the words 'full', 'nearly full', 'half full', 'nearly empty' and 'empty'.

This lesson includes:

  • two slideshows
  • two activities

Created in partnership with Twinkl.


You will be shown different everyday objects in the two slideshows and asked which object can hold more liquid.

In the first slideshow you will learn about capacity, which is the total amount of liquid a container can hold.

On the table rests a bottle, a large measuring jug, a smaller measuring jug, a glass, three measuring spoons and a bucket. Above the items are two labels; Label 1: Capacity is the total amount of liquid a container can hold; Label 2: When something holds as much liquid as it can, we say it is at full capacity.

Capacity is the total amount of liquid a container can hold and when the container is full it is called at 'full capacity'.

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Volume can change because it is a measure of the amount of liquid in the container. The volume will change if you pour liquid away or pour more in.

Look through the second slideshow to find out more.

You are asked to fill in the blank space in the sentence on this slide about bottle A, which is half full, and bottle B, which is nearly empty.

Do bottles A and B have the same capacity? Do they have the same volume? Fill in the blank, does bottle A have more or less volume of liquid than bottle B?

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Activity 1

The first worksheet today is perfect for learning how to identify the capacity of different containers from around your house.

Measuring capacity at home

Activity 2

Print out the next worksheet from Classroom Secrets Kids and answer the questions about the different capacities.

Introduce capacity

Click here for the answer sheet

There's more to learn

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

1st level Maths and Numeracy
BBC Bitesize Daily
Primary games
5 - 7 Maths
Game - Karate Cats Maths