Which is Bigger, Noahs Ark or the Titanic?



Subject: Geometry, Measurement, Number Sense
Author(s): Andrea Knapp

Class Period/Time: 1



Files: Current attached Lesson files



Which is bigger, Noah's Ark or the Titanic?

Do your students have any conception of the size of the Titanic or Noah’s Ark? In this lesson, students compare the volume of their school with both ships.

Lesson Plan:

I. Ask students how large the think the Titanic and Noah’s Ark were. Have them give comparisons with respect to nearby buildings.

II. Show students a 1ft. by 1ft. by 1ft. (one cubic foot) box. Ask them how many cubic feet they think would fit in their classroom. Break students into groups of 2-3 to find how many cubic feet fit in the room. DO NOT MENTION THE VOLUME FORMULA. Each group should be given a yard stick and a cubic foot box. (Can be purchased from U-Haul).

III. After students have discovered the formula V = LxWxH, have them complete the worksheet that asks them to compare the volumes of their classroom, the Titanic, Noah’s Ark, and their school. (Give 4th-6th graders the volume of their school to save time.) Sketch on the board the Titanic with the A and B decks on top. Calculator use is recommended in the interest of time.

IV. Discuss the results.

V. Additional Information:

    a. The dimensions of Noah’s Ark in Hebrew are 300 cubits long by 50 cubits wide by 30 cubits high. One cubit is 1.5 feet. (See Genesis 6).

    b. Dimensions of the Titanic were obtained from users.senet.com.au/~gittins/dimensions.html and titanic-model.com/basic_measurements.shtml on January 6, 2005.

To discover the formula for the volume of a rectangular prism

To gain a conceptual understanding of volume and large numbers

To practice finding and comparing volumes

Illinois Learning Standards:

Middle/Junior High School

  • 6.C.3a Select computational procedures and solve problems with whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percents and proportions.
  • 6.C.3b Show evidence that computational results using whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percents and proportions are correct and/or that estimates are reasonable.
  • 7.A.3b Apply the concepts and attributes of length, capacity, weight/mass, perimeter, area, volume, time, temperature and angle measures in practical situations

Early High School

  • 7.A.4a Apply units and scales to describe and compare numerical data and physical objects.
  • 7.A.4b Apply formulas in a wide variety of theoretical and practical real-world measure­ment applications involving perimeter, area, volume, angle, time, temperature, mass, speed, distance, density and monetary values.
  • 9.B.4 Recognize and apply relationships within and among geometric figures



Yard sticks or tape measures, Dimensions of your school, Boxes that are 1ft. by 1ft. by 1ft (available at U-Haul)


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