Big and Small, Less and More - KS1 Numeracy

Big and Small, Less and More - KS1 Numeracy

Learning Objective - KS1 Numeracy

Pupils should be taught to compare, describe and solve practical problems for:

Capacity and volume


3 pre-prepared 2 litre milk bottles using a ruler and permanent marker to draw a scale up one side, and add on numbers.

A variety of pouring vessels, at least 10 mugs of varying sizes, small kettles, jars, jugs, filters, funnels

Large tub of water or access to outdoor tap.

Waterproof clothing


Paper and pencil


Draw two large circles on the ground, one labelled ‘more water’ and the second labelled ‘less water’.

Ask the children to sort through all the pouring vessels in to which vessels will hold more or less water and place them in the correct circle.


Write the question ‘How many mugs to fill the bottle?’ on a playground wall with chalk.

Put the children in to three groups and give each group a bottle, paper and pencil and three mugs of different sizes (four if you have a class of 30) and ask them to estimate how many mugs will fill the bottle, for example, 10 small mugs, 8 medium mugs 6 large mugs, and ask them to record their estimates on their paper.

Allow the children to experiment with how many mugs will fill the milk bottle, and encourage turn taking.

Re group and compare the results to the estimates.


Using the other pouring vessels, allow the children to test their original estimates, by using them to fill the bottle, and see if their original sorting exercise was accurate.

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