Comparing Weights: Heavy and Light

We’ll compare the weights of tennis balls and feathers by placing them at opposite ends of the scale

A tennis ball pushes down on a larger scale than a feather

The side with the tennis ball moves down causing the side with the feathers to move up

Feathers are lighter than tennis balls

No matter how big the object is, the heaviest object moves down the scale

The heaviest object moves the scale down

The lightest objects move upward

Carrots cut the ratio even more than strawberries

How to use “heavier than” or “lighter than” to compare weights

In this lesson, we’ll cover weight and how to compare the weight of two objects

The weight of an object is the force pushing it down

When you hold many different objects, you feel their weight

A balance can be used to compare the weight of two objects

We place a mass at one end of the balance

The weight of the mass pushes down on this end of the scale, so the left side moves down

When teaching your child about weight, it can be helpful to have a set of physical scales to play with so your child can experience how it works for themselves

We don’t need a huge mass to push the scale down

Since there is nothing on one end, if you put anything on the other end, it will weigh on the scale

The pencil pushes down on the left side of the scale, causing this side to move down

In the example below, we place two objects on the scale We will compare the weight of tennis balls and feathers

To compare the weight of two objects, they need to be on different ends of the scale

The side with the tennis ball moves down

This happens because tennis balls press down on the scales more than feathers

We say tennis balls are heavier than feathers

We say tennis balls are heavier than feathers

This means it is harder to lift than a feather

The opposite statement is that feathers are lighter than tennis balls

This means that a feather is easier to lift than a tennis ball

When teaching weight and mass to kids, we can think of them as very similar and use the two words almost interchangeably

The weight of the tennis ball pushes down more than the weight of the feather

The quality of the tennis ball means it is harder to move in any direction

We could try blowing a tennis ball and a feather and see how much easier it is to move the feather

In these introductory examples, we just need to determine which object is heavier by seeing which side of the scale is depressed

In the next example, we’ll compare the weight of a book and a leaf

Moving down on the book side causes the leaf side to move up

The proportions of the book are lower than the leaves

Therefore, the book is heavier than the pages

And the leaf is lighter than the book

Remember that the pages will only move up because the book will move down, pushing one side of the page up

Some children may mistake the lightness of the leaves to cause the scales to move upward

The best way to overcome this misunderstanding is to take the book away and see what happens when the leaf is alone on the scale

If the leaf is alone on the scale, without the book, then the leaf will push one side of it down

It does not cause limescale to rise

The weight of the object can only push down

Objects are always pushed down with their weight

Even feathers and leaves have weight that pushes down

In the last example, we compared the weight of carrots and strawberries

In the last example, we compared the weight of carrots and strawberries

The carrot pushes this side down, causing the strawberry side to move up

Carrots are heavier than strawberries

Carrots are heavier than strawberries

Carrots are heavier than strawberries

Strawberries are lighter than carrots

When teaching and introducing weight to children, it’s important to consider real-life examples so children can connect their understanding to what they’ve already experienced

Simply holding two objects in each hand can be a way to feel and compare their weight

If you don’t have a scale to use for this lesson, you can simply hold the objects and feel which one is harder to lift

However, it is important to explain that this is not always true when comparing different materials