Reflection: Complex Tasks Mass of Trash - Section 4: Comparing the Weights


The conversion between grams and pounds is a tricky one. You can use a scale that measures both grams and ounces so students can see the conversion right on the scale.  Students have had experience with measuring distance with 2 different scales and comparing them, so doing the same with pounds and grams is a similar exercise. I related these two measurement tasks. I reminded students that just as we can measure something in inches or centimeters, we can also measure the weight in grams or ounces. I tell students that scientists measure weight in grams, but doctors use pounds, and most of our food is marked in ounces. I am hoping that students will realize that just as there is more than one way to talk about distance, there is also more than 1 way to talk about mass.

I use the drawing of a scale to help students understand that the measurements may have different numbers but they are weighing the same thing.

Next time I do this lesson I will have the students read the ounces and grams side of the scale as they measure. They can record the mass both ways at the same time and then the idea of 2 different scales will be even clearer.

  Making the Conversion
  Complex Tasks: Making the Conversion
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Mass of Trash

Unit 13: Area, Perimeter and More Measurement
Lesson 3 of 6

Objective: SWBAT measure classroom trash in grams and compare the weights and extend that to a year's worth of trash

Big Idea: If students understand what a mass of trash might look like, they may be more likely to reduce their own waste.

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