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How Heavy Is It?

Jean Cryder
Doves Creek Elementary School
Elbert County Schools


Students will weigh objects and investigate which item is heavier and lighter.

Illustrative Task
  • Listen to the book about weighing objects. Using a book such as Hershey’s Weights and Measures by Jerry Pallota or One-Eyed Jake by Pat Hutchins, introduce this task to the students.
  • Discuss prior lessons on measurement. Ask questions such as, What kinds of things can we measure? How did we measure those items?
  • Share two objects, such as a large sponge and a bottle of glue, and ask students Which is heavier?
  • Allow students to feel objects and make observations about the weight of the two items. Ask the question, How can we prove which item is heavier?
  • Show students the balance scale.
  • Ask the question, Where have you seen other scales used? Discuss where they have seen these scales in the real world (the grocery store, the doctor’s office, the bathroom.)The teacher should show real examples or pictures of scales.
  • Discuss the following questions with students, Have you ever seen or played on a seesaw? What happens when you play on a seesaw? Demonstrate how a scale shows a measure of weight on the dial. Explain that the balance scale is like a seesaw, comparing the weight of two objects. You may choose to help students develop the concept of weight by holding two objects such as a tennis ball and golf ball or marble (both are spheres) in their hands, one in each hand at the same time. Compare the weights when they are placed in the scale. Focus on the vocabulary terms heavier and lighter.
  • Model for students how to weigh an object, using the number of teddy bear counters to balance or equal the weight of the object
  • Students should first weigh the two objects using the balance scale. Next, students should compare and discuss with their groups the weights of different items in the center and discuss which is heavier and which is lighter. Students should use a balance scale and weigh objects. After they have compared the weight of two objects, have them weigh each object individually by balancing the object with the correct number of teddy bear counters. Then students should record the weights on the student task sheet. Students will draw the object and indicate the number of teddy bears needed to balance the scale.
  • Share answers with others in your group.
  • Teacher will facilitate discussion about weight and students will share their results with the class.

GPS Addressed
MKM1. Students will group objects according to common properties such as longer/shorter, more/less, taller/shorter, and heavier/lighter.
    d. Compare and order objects on the basis of weight.
MKN1. Students will connect numerals to the quantities they represent.
    a. Count a number of objects up to 30.
    c. Write numerals through 20 to label sets.
    e. Compare two or more sets of objects (1-10) and identify which set is equal to, more than, or less than the other.

Video Information
Use these questions to guide your thinking about some of the important teacher ideas in the lesson featured in the video clip.
  1. What kinds of questions does the teacher ask to promote students’ problem solving?
  2. How is the teacher gauging students’ current understandings and building from those understandings?
  3. Consider the GPS standards listed with this video.
  4. What makes this lesson different from lessons you have taught on this topic?

Classroom Materials

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