What weighs most/least?

Using a balance scale

An activity within DaVinci Kindergarten for children age 4 to 8. In this activity children work with a balance scale. They experiment with the objects and the balance scale.
For example tasks like:

  • Place one item in one of the scales (containers) and find out how you can get the scale in balance.
  • Find out how many woorden blocks (or any other available unit of measurement) you need an item.
  • You get three items. Place them in order from lightest to heaviest.  (They may use the blocks, but they can also work it out without using the unit of measurement.)

Concepts
measuring, weight, the use of scales, creating your own units of measurement, volume, quantity, counting.

Vocabulary
balance, in balance, out of balance, scale, the same weight, more, less, heavier, heaviest, lighter, lightest in weight, equal in weight.

Remarks
It is important that children get experience through hands-on measuring and weighing tasks. This way they will be able to cope with tasks like Balancing Act at an older age (10-12).
The activity was challenging and accessible for four an five year old kids. It turned out that the activity required a lot of counting (the blocks), but this posed no problem.

Make sure you test the weight of the items you use before the activity. We chose an apple, a banana, and an onion and tested if they could be measured using the wooden blocks. Make sure your unit of measurement does not exceed the counting ability of your pupils.
One kindergarten turned out to have small plastic bears in three sizes that could be used as a more precise unit of measurement than the wooden blocks.

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