Mass is a measure of how much matter something has. It is not the same as weight, which is a measure of the pull of gravity on something. The metric units of measurement for mass are grams and kilograms.

To find the mass of an object, we often have to read a scale.

Teach your children about Mass and Weight using our handy topic guide!

Choose a section:
Teaching Ideas | Resources | Facts | Videos | Books | Links

## Teaching Ideas

• Use this activity with younger children to measure mass using balance scales.
• Demonstrate how to convert from grams to kilograms and give children some examples to complete.
• Challenge children to convert from kilograms to grams with this NRICH investigation.
• Give children a set of items of different weights, all sealed in the same size cardboard box, so that they cannot see what they are. Make sure that at least two are very close in weight. First, ask the children to compare the weights by picking them up. Can they put them in order? Then provide a scale and ask the children to weigh them. Were they correct? What do they notice?
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## Mass and Weight Facts

• Mass tells us how much matter an object is made from.
• Weight tells us how heavy an object is.
• Weight is caused by the pull of gravity, which is why objects have different weights on different planets.
• A grain is an imperial unit of measure, which is the same as 0.06g.
• Balance scales have been used to measure mass for thousands of years.

## Videos

#### Measuring Mass with a Scale

This short video demonstrates measuring the mass of food items with a dial scale.

Running time: 1:47

#### Mass and weight | Primary Science – Terrific Scientific Forces

This video has a great explanation of the difference between weight and mass, and shows how they affect speed.

Running time: 6:43

#### Using Grams and Kilograms

Can Buttons hang out the washing without breaking the washing line?

Running time: 3:18

## Books

##### How much does a ladybird weigh?

A great book for discussing mass and weight with younger children.

##### How to Measure Everything

A bright, lift the flap book for younger children.

Are you teaching your children about other topics? Explore our full collection of guides!