Weights and Balances

Physical Science 

Weights and Balances

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Core Learning Experience
+ Supplies and Equipment
Possible/Expected Discoveries
Extended Learning and Other Curriculum Areas

     

  • Children explore items related to weight and balance. Use a balance with a “cup” on each side to measure/compare lighter and heavier; scales (analog and digital) to weigh things and people. It’s not necessary for the children to know numbers to do this. Have objects to compare and weigh, such as feathers, mini metal cars, fruit, crayons, dolls, play doh balls etc.
  • Explore a set of wooden unit blocks. Teacher can sit and watch, and describe quietly what the children are doing while they do it, adding appropriate vocabulary and describing actions. E.g. “Matthew put 3 of the square blocks together to make a tower. I wonder which is heavier, the tower or this long block over here?” “Perhaps it feels like they weigh the same. Perhaps their weight feels equal”.
  • Our physical world consists of things, or objects. Objects can be observed, compared and identified and described by various characteristics, including quantity, volume, size, length and weight.
  •  Vocabulary when referring to “weight”: lighter, heavier, equal, bigger, smaller, ounces, pounds, grams.
  • Is weight related to size? Compare weight of metal car and a sponge (or similar) of the same size. Use balance scale or hands. Compare other similar size items.
  • Predict which thing might be heavier or lighter before weighing it or picking it up. A clue might be the substance that it is made from. E.g. which do you think is heavier – the cup filled with water, or the cup that is empty?
  • Estimating: let’s take a ball of playdoh and put it one side of the balance. Estimate how much playdoh you need to put on the other side to balance it.

 

  • Fill in the word: The doormat is heavy, the cushion is …. The girl is heavy, the doll is …. The paper is light, the TV is …. The mouse is light, the elephant is ……
  • Go and find something that you think is lighter than this cup. How about heavier. How about equal in weight.
  • Recording: use clipart or drawings. Divide a large paper in half. Show a picture of something of obviously medium weight, such as a horse. On one side of the paper glue pictures of things that we estimate weigh MORE than the horse, and on the other side pictures of things that weigh LESS.
                                                                                                                                                      
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