Series: Focus on the Lesson

Which Holds More?

Duration: 10:01Having video problems?

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This video from our Focus on the Lesson series demonstrates an activity for teaching capacity in kindergarten and preschool. Students look at two containers and try to determine which one would hold more liquid.

One of the goals from this lesson is to get young students thinking about precise ways to describe their thinking. Many children use general terms—“it’s big!”— when explaining their ideas about measurement. This activity requires children to use more specific words and concepts to clearly explain their thoughts. While one container might be taller, the other might be wider.

Because it reinforces strong, precise vocabulary, Which Holds More? is a great activity for teaching capacity to English Language Learners.

“The language of capacity is difficult for any child but especially English Language Learners,” explains one of the teachers featured in this video. Students are able to practice using these new words, but the concrete objects in the lesson still allow them to fall back to using gesture to communicate their ideas.

Key icon for Big Ideas

Big Idea

The purpose of collecting data is to answer questions when the answers are not immediately obvious. More

Key icon for Big Ideas

Big Idea

Many different attributes can be measured, even when measuring a single object. More

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Common Core Alignment

Measurement and Data More

Foundational Math Concepts

Source: 10-11 Pre-K Training Video • Copyright: © Erikson Institute • Content ID: EMTR108 ①

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What do you think?

  1. Comment icon

    Mary Grady

    March 19, 2016 at 7:02pm

    In this video the children are comparing the size of their hands to many objects in the classroom to find the one that might fit correctly to their hands.

  2. Comment icon


    January 17, 2017 at 8:59pm

    very interesting video where the children can express his own ideas about measure things, sizes or how objects look.
    also we can listen their vocabulary.

  3. Comment icon

    NuVigor Rx

    November 6, 2017 at 7:04pm

    Lovely just what I was looking for. Thanks to
    the author for taking his time on this one.

  4. Comment icon

    Kenecha Freeman

    November 24, 2017 at 1:08pm

    Interesting! Kids are so amazing, I never doubt their ability to think!

  5. Comment icon

    Veronica Aguilar

    January 23, 2018 at 1:22pm

    this is a great activity to estimate wich cup hold more juice the tumbler or gobbler.

  6. Comment icon


    April 9, 2018 at 8:13am

    Interesting video. Like that the children were able to do hands on and measure.

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