You need to find a collection of jars and bottles of different sizes and shapes, like those in the picture below:
I wonder which holds the most/least liquid?
Use estimation first of all.
How could you find out? Explore!
Can you find a way of counting how many "small container-fulls" each will hold?
Can you find a better way?
Why do this problem?
is useful for young pupils to start considering capacity. It will encourage discussion between pupils and between pupil and teacher.
Although some discussion could be had by looking at the bottles pictured here, it would be good for the pupils to have a variety of bottles/jars for them to talk about and to explore the capacities practically.
Teachers could give the pupils a long time to both discuss their opinions of how the capacities compare and then how they could explore the capacities further. When it comes to finding a "small container", give them opportunities to try out the different suggestions they have.
Tell me about your ideas.
Why do you think this will be the largest/smallest?
Why have you chosen this "small container"?
is a good follow-up to this activity.
Some pupils made need assistance with any awkward pouring.