Measuring mass and weight

Introduced in the Year 1 curriculum as: "Measure and begin to record the following: lengths and heights, mass/weight, capacity and volume and time."

We measure the mass or weight of something using scales. Scales tell us how heavy something is.

There are three main types of scales:

Digital scales look like the picture below. You just need to read the number to see how heavy the object is.

Mechanical scales look like the picture below. They have a spring inside which turns the needle. You need to read where the needle points on the scale.

Balance scales look like the picture below. When they are level and balanced, the weight on each side is equal.


Example 1:

How many grams does this pizza weigh?

Answer: the digital scales show 300 grams.


Example 2:

How heavy is this cat?

Answer: the cat weighs 3 kilograms on the mechanical scales.


Example 3:

What weighs more, the cat or the toy car?

The balance scales are down on the side of the toy cat.

Answer: the cat is heavier than the toy car.


Example 4:

How much does the apple weigh?

The apple is balanced by two lots of 100 grams.

Answer: the apple weighs 200 grams.


Example 5:

How heavy are the stars?

The needle points exactly halfway between 300 and 400 grams.

Answer: the stars weigh 350g.


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