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How to Measure & Compare Liquid Volume: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Liquid Volume
  • 1:07 U.S. Volume Units…
  • 1:57 Metric Volume Units
  • 2:37 Comparing Standard &…
  • 3:08 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Ashley Davis

Ashley has taught first, fourth, and fifth grades and holds a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

In this lesson, you will learn how to measure and compare liquid volume. You will also learn what units in the U.S. (Standard) and Metric systems are used to measure volume.

Liquid Volume

You're in the kitchen helping your mom bake your favorite cake. She asks you for two cups of milk. Does that mean you can get any two cups out of the cabinet and pour you and your mom each a glass to drink? Of course not! What she needs is an exact volume of milk. Liquid volume is the amount of space a liquid takes up, or milk in this case.

The tool and unit you use to measure a liquid is determined by what you're doing. In the kitchen, and in most day-to-day tasks, you will use measuring cups or measuring spoons. You'll also use the U.S. units for measuring: cups, pints, quarts, and gallons.

For an experiment in science class, though, you will use beakers and graduated cylinders to find liquid volumes. Also, these tools are not marked with cups and pints but with the metric liquid volume units: liters and milliliters.

Let's take a look at the U.S. (or Standard) and Metric volume units and how they compare.

U.S. Volume Units (Standard Units)

In America, this is the system that we use every day. We can walk into any grocery store and buy milk by the pint, quart, or gallon. When we cook, we measure cups of liquid for our recipes. Even though we use it every day, this system can sometimes be a little confusing. Did you know a certain number of cups, pints, or quarts can all equal one gallon? Really, it's true! Here are some important equivalent, or equal, measurements to remember:

  • 1 gallon = 4 quarts
  • 1 quart = 2 pints
  • 1 pint = 2 cups

Once you know these measurements, you can tell, for instance, how many pints it takes to make one gallon (eight). Sixteen cups is equal to one gallon as well.

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