Decompose a Liter

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Videos, examples, solutions, and lessons to help Grade 3 students learn how to decompose a liter to reason about the size of 1 liter, 100 milliliters, 10 milliliters, and 1 milliliter.

Common Core Standards: 3.NBT.2, 3.MD.2, 3.NBT.8

New York State Common Core Math Grade 3, Module 2, Lesson 9
Worksheets for Grade 3

Concept Development

Which holds more water, a swimming pool or a glass? A swimming pool!

Which holds more water, a swimming pool or a bathtub? A swimming pool!

Which holds the least amount of water, a swimming pool, a bathtub, or a glass?
A glass holds the least amount of water.

The amount of liquid a container holds is called its capacity. The glass has the smallest capacity because it holds the least amount of water.

The amount of water inside a bottle measures 1 liter. A liter is a unit we use to measure amounts of liquid. To abbreviate the word liter use a capital L.

1 liter (L)= 1000 milliliters (ml)

Part 1: Compare the capacities of containers with different shapes and sizes.

Part 2: Decompose 1 liter.


  1. Find containers at home that have a capacity of about 1 liter. Use the labels on containers to help you identify them.
  2. The doctor prescribes Mrs. Larson 5 milliliters of medicine each day for 3 days. How many milliliters of medicine will she take altogether?
  3. Mrs. Goldstein pours 3 juice boxes into a bowl to make punch. Each juice box holds 236 milliliters. How much juice does Mrs. Goldstein pour into the bowl?
  4. Daniel’s fish tank holds 24 liters of water. He uses a 4-liter bucket to fill the tank. How many buckets of water are needed to fill the tank?
  5. Sheila buys 15 liters of paint to paint her house. She pours the paint equally into 3 buckets. How many liters of paint are in each bucket?

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