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.