Classify matter based on physical properties, including: mass, magnetism, physical state (solid, liquid and gas), relative density (sinking and floating), solubility in water, and ability to conduct or insulate thermal or electric energy.
The student knows that (1) matter has measurable physical properties and (2) those properties determine how matter is classified, changed and used.
Mass, Weight and Gravity: School for Champions (website) - Illustrated definitions of weight and mass, and how they are measured.
All Matter has Mass & Has Volume: Fenn Schoolhouse (website) - Useful definitions of “mass,” “weight,” “volume,” “density” and “solubility,” and discussion of the different phases of matter.
Finding the Mass of an Object: EDINFORMATICS.COM (website) - Learn how to determine an object’s mass with a triple beam balance.
- Supporting Lessons
- Assessment Ideas
- Literature Connections
- Additional Resources
Metric Mania Lesson Plans: The Science Spot (website) - In Lesson 2, students estimate and determine the mass of a variety of objects, and record their data.
Elaboration Lessons and Extensions
Density, Weight and Mass Lesson Plan: Candy Bar Lab: BRAINPOP EDUCATORS
(website) - Students are able to compare and contrast the basic properties of solids and differentiate between weight and mass.
Metric Madness: bioedonline.org (PDF) - Student groups rotate through stations or centers, using tools and applying estimation and metric measurement skills. The lesson may be adjusted to meet grade level objectives.
Millions to Measure. Schwartz, D. (ISBN-13: 978-0688129163)
Weighing the Elephant. Ting-xing, Ye (ISBN-13: 978-1550375275)
Matter (Early Bird Energy). Walker, Sally (ISBN-13: 978-0822528449)
Tools of Science for Elementary Science: BioEd Online (video) - Begin the year with this activity, which introduces students to important science tools, such as metric rulers, thermometers and magnifiers.
SI (International Systems of Units) Measurement Reference Chart: Holt, Rinehart and Winston (PDF) - Identifies basic units of the metric system, including prefixes used to define smaller and larger quantities. Includes a conversion table for SI to English (or standard) units of measurement.
Reading a Triple Beam Balance: Learning Activity from Wisc-Online (website) - Online tutorials review basic parts of the balance and enable students to practice using the scale with a variety of objects.
Masses & Springs: Physics Education Technology (website) - This simulation creates a realistic, virtual mass-and-spring laboratory. Users can explore spring motion by manipulating spring stiffness, hanging mass, initial pull, damping (friction) and gravity.
Your Weight on Other Worlds: Exploratorium (website) - Ever wonder what you might weigh on Mars or the Moon? Visit this site to find out!