Volume Review Activity for 6th Grade Math

A rainy Friday night has given me a chance to get back in the blogging world (I coach baseball, so the the free nights these days are few and far between!). In 6th grade math, we just finished up our unit on volume. During my first few years of teaching, I found that this is an area that 6th graders often struggle to grasp right away. I decided to spend an extra couple of days reviewing and practicing how to find the volume of rectangular prisms, triangular prisms, pyramids, cylinders, and cones! The question was...what should we do to help review?

It's amazing how sometimes the last minute teaching ideas often turn out the best! This was one of those "night before" ideas that I thought I'd give a try. To start, I spent about 15 minutes creating these volume posters on five pieces of poster board.

After taping the five posters up around the room, I gave each student five post-it notes. I had them label their post-it notes with the five different figures. Then, I divided the class into five groups...each group starting at a different poster. I gave each group 3-4 minutes to find the volume of their shape. Each student was required to show their work on their own post-it, but I encouraged them to work with their group members if they got stuck. I made sure to emphasize that if they got done early they should help out their group members who were still working! Here are some pictures of my students hard at work!

After having all five groups rotate to each station, I had students place their five post-it notes on the matching poster. I had them wait to do this step at the end (rather then as they did each problem) so that other groups wouldn't see the work that they had done. Here are the five posters with their post-it notes attached!

After placing their post-it notes on the posters, I brought the class back together. Giving them three minutes to walk around the room, I had them look for two specific things. Number one...things that we did well as a class. Number two...any mistakes they saw and how to correct them. This final step of the activity was very insightful. Before having them walk around, I made sure to stress the idea that if they could find another student's mistake and explain how to fix it, that it showed that they really understood the concept. I was impressed by how many students could do this!

This was such an easy and effective review activity that I had to share! I also love how it could be applied to almost any concept. I plan on using this structure for a review activity at the end of each of my units!


  1. We need to have a good facilitator to conduct team building and group activities. As a good and knowledgeable facilitator will ensure that the activities are conducted appropriately and are having a positive influence on the participants.

  2. You are amazing! Thank you for this amazing activity. I am a first year teacher in 6th grade (I have been a para in pre-Algebra for 4 years) and I’ve been searching for a way to help my class because of the varying abilities.

  3. I love this idea! Will definitely be trying this with my 7th graders!! Thank you!

  4. AWESOME... I need to do this more... I used to do these A LOT... but life got busy.. thank you for reminding me to let them work! :)

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