# Mass Teaching Resources

Teach students how to measure mass or calculate the mass of an object and more with games, worksheets and more teacher-created resources for your classroom!

Aligned with both TEKS and Common Core math, each printable and digital teacher resource in this collection has undergone careful review by our math teachers to ensure it's ready to be added to a mass lesson plan.

Is this your first year teaching kids how to find the mass of an obect? Or maybe you're just looking for fresh ways to engage your students on the topic? Read on for a primer from our teacher team, including a kid-friendly definition of mass in physics, the formula for calculating mass and more!

## What Is Mass? A Kid-Friendly Definition

Do you need a mass definition to start your lesson? This word can be difficult for kids to understand due to its intangible nature. While we can measure the length or width of an object with a ruler, finding mass means dealing with an invisible concept.

So how do you explain it? Here's a definition that our teacher team likes to use to describe mass for our own students:

Mass is a measurement of how much matter an object is made of.

## Mass vs. Weight — What's the Difference?

The definition above builds off students' study of matter in science classes and what they've learned about "heavy" and "light" objects and the differences between them both.

But as we've already noted, mass can be confusing for kids, and one of the most common points of confusion comes down to weight. After all, if something is heavy, it has more mass than a light object, but it also has more weight.

So, are mass and weight the same thing? No! Let's break down the differences:

## Mass |
## Weight |

A measurement of the amount of matter in an object | A measurement of the force exerted on an object due to gravity |

Doesn't change even when the amount of gravitational force on the object changes | Changes depending on the amount of gravitational force on the object |

## What Is Mass Measured In? A Look at Units of Mass

While many measurements in the United States involve units from the United States customary system — also known as the imperial system — mass is measured in units from the metric system!

The most common units for mass are kilograms (abbreviated kg) and grams (abbreviated g).

This represents another difference between calculating the mass of an object and measuring its weight! Weight is typically measured in pounds, ounces and tons here in the US.

## How to Find Mass — 4 Methods

We've covered what mass is and how it's measured. Now it's time to find the mass of different objects!

There are four common methods that can be used to calculate mass, and each one has its own applications. Read on for a breakdown of each one, including a formula that students can use to measure mass.

### 1. Measuring Mass With a Balance Scale

The simplest way to measure the mass of an object is to use a balance scale. Students can place the object on the scale and read the result.

Pretty simple, huh?

### 2. Using a Formula to Find Mass

What if the object is too large to place on a scale, or you don't have the object ... or a scale? Using a formula to find the mass of an object is another option in these situations!

There are two mass formulas that are typically used to calculate mass:

#### Density Formula

If you know the density (mass per unit volume) of a material and the volume of the object, you can use the following formula:

Mass=Density×Volume

#### Weight Formula

Although weight and mass are different, here on Earth these two measurements are in proportion to one another. Because of this, you can make use of the weight formula to solve for mass.

Weight=Mass×Acceleration due to Gravity

Note: This formula only works when the object is in a gravitational field!

### 3. Measuring Mass With the Water Displacement Method

Do you have an irregularly shaped object? The simplest way to calculate its mass is to use the water displacement method.

- Submerge the object in water.
- Calculate the volume of water displaced. This is equal to the volume of the object.
- Calculate the mass using the density formula mentioned earlier.

### 4. Using a Spring Scale to Calculate Mass

The final method for finding the mass of an object is to use a spring scale. This is typically a method taught in high school rather than elementary school.

The spring scale is used to measure the force exerted by an object due to gravity, with students employing Newton's second law to find the mass of a particular object.

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### How Much Does It Measure? Match-Up Activity (Length, Mass, and Capacity)

A set of 18 match-up cards to reinforce measurement concepts of length, mass, and capacity.

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### Converting Units of Mass – Worksheet

Practice converting metric units of mass, including those with decimal representations, with this worksheet.

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### Which Is Heavier? – Mini-Book

Compare the mass of common, everyday objects with this 8-page mini-book.

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### Heavy and Light Hands-on Activity

A fun, hands-on activity for students to compare the weight of various objects

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### Spin and Sort – Heavier, Lighter, Same

Practice comparing weight with this sorting activity.

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### Selecting Units of Mass – Sorting Activity

A sorting activity to help students identify objects that should be measured in ounces, pounds, and tons.

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### Mass Vocabulary Poster

A poster that explains the concept of mass and lists associated vocabulary.

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### Mass Investigation - How Heavy Are the Objects in Your Classroom?

A mathematics investigation involving mass, embedded in a real-world context.

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### Know Your Measurements Board Game

A fun measurement game for students to play when applying their knowledge of length, mass, capacity and time.

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### Mass Math Investigation - How Much Do We Throw Away?

A mathematics investigation about measuring mass, embedded in a real-world context.

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### Measuring Mass with Informal Units Worksheet

A worksheet to use when exploring mass and how to measure it with informal units.

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### Measuring Mass with Informal Units Unit Plan

This mathematics unit addresses the concept of measuring, comparing, and ordering mass using informal units.

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### Assessment - Measuring Mass with Informal Units

A 30 minute assessment in which students will demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of mass.

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### Review of Mass

A 60-minute lesson in which students will review the concept of mass.

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### Mass Investigation - How Heavy Are the Objects in Your Classroom?

A 60-minute lesson in which students will apply knowledge and understanding of mass to a real-world context.

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### Comparing and Ordering Mass

A 60-minute lesson in which students will develop the concept of mass by comparing and ordering the masses of objects.

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### Using Balance Scales

A 60-minute lesson in which students will create a set of balance scales for measuring and comparing the masses of objects.

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### Introduction to Mass

A 60-minute lesson in which students will explore the concept of mass by comparing and ordering objects.