SC.8.P.8.2

Differentiate between weight and mass recognizing that weight is the amount of gravitational pull on an object and is distinct from, though proportional to, mass.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Body of Knowledge: Physical Science
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Big Idea: Properties of Matter - A. All objects and substances in the world are made of matter. Matter has two fundamental properties: matter takes up space and matter has mass which gives it inertia.

B. Objects and substances can be classified by their physical and chemical properties. Mass is the amount of matter (or "stuff") in an object. Weight, on the other hand, is the measure of force of attraction (gravitational force) between an object and Earth.

The concepts of mass and weight are complicated and potentially confusing to elementary students. Hence, the more familiar term of "weight" is recommended for use to stand for both mass and weight in grades K-5. By grades 6-8, students are expected to understand the distinction between mass and weight, and use them appropriately.

Clarification for grades K-2: The use of the more familiar term ‘weight’ instead of the term “mass” is recommended for grades K-2.

Clarification for grades 3-5: In grade 3, introduce the term mass as compared to the term weight. In grade 4, investigate the concept of weight versus mass of objects. In grade 5, discuss why mass (not weight) is used to compare properties of solids, liquids and gases.

Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
2002100: M/J Comprehensive Science 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002110: M/J Comprehensive Science 3, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2003010: M/J Physical Science (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2003020: M/J Physical Science, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7820017: Access M/J Comprehensive Science 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
2002055: M/J Comprehensive Science 1 Accelerated Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.8.P.8.In.2: Recognize that the weight of an object is related to the pull of gravity.
SC.8.P.8.Su.2: Compare the weight of different sized objects.
SC.8.P.8.Pa.2: Recognize the heavier of two objects.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Educational Software / Tool

Density: Sea Water Mixing & Sinking:

This is an excellent resource for teachers and students that provides student sheets, data graphs, vocabulary, and teacher notes as well as Big Ideas, Essential Questions, Data Tables, Formative Assessment questions - extremely teacher friendly who need assistance on this Big Idea and Concept. (The Preconceptions were helpful to my students.)

Type: Educational Software / Tool

Lesson Plans

Scout Robot: Mass, Density, Volume, Weight:

In this MEA, students must select which material to use in the development of an advanced military scout robot. Students must analyze data about each material’s individual properties that would make it a valid choice for military or police service. Students must complete calculations to determine material density as well as the overall mass and weight of the robot. This lesson focuses on the characteristic properties of density, unit conversion, and differentiating between mass and weight.

Type: Lesson Plan

Edible Mass vs. Weight:

Students will experiment with edibles (fun size Snickers candy bar, Oreo cookie, and Peppermint Puff candy) to measure their mass and calculate their weight on different planets. Students will be able to differentiate between weight and mass recognizing that weight is the amount of gravitational pull on an object and is distinct from, though proportional to, mass.

Type: Lesson Plan

"Weight! What's the Mass?":

The lesson will teach students the difference between mass and weight with a hands-on activity and instruction. Students will simulate a reduction in gravity (i.e. a reduction in an object's weight) using water's buoyancy. The research question that the students will address is: "Will an object's mass and weight differ in and out of water?"

Teachers Note:  Prior to the lesson be sure that the balances that are to be used can be submerged in water and that they balance to horizontal or zero out while in water.  Different manufacturers and materials may prohibit the use of certain balances underwater since different materials may have different buoyancies that may impact the use of the balance underwater.  Please note that there is an optional variation of the activity that uses a 1000 mL beaker instead and does not require the balance to be submerged.

Type: Lesson Plan

NASA: Roving for the right wheel! 3D + MEA:

In this MEA, students will evaluate wheel designs from different companies to determine which wheel is appropriate for the mission. Further 3D printing is integrated by 3D printing different wheel models which can be directly tested using a LEGO Mindsorms Robot or Simple Rubber Band Powered Sled and different Regolith Simulants for the Moon and Titan.

Type: Lesson Plan

Glider Challenge:

Students will select a glider model that will meet the needs of a Summer Space Camp program.

Type: Lesson Plan

Force (Weight versus Mass): Newton's 2nd Law:

Students will examine the relationships between mass, force and acceleration, applying Newton's 2nd Law.

This is part 2 of a two-part lab. It is recommended that the teacher cover the first lesson (, ID 51003) prior to completing this lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Mass/Weight Connection:

Students will recognize that the mass of an object is a measure that is independent of gravity. If they can effectively complete the guided inquiry activity as well as the short writing summary to reinforce what they learned, they will gain a foundation for understanding the difference between mass and weight.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorial

Mass and Weight: What's the Difference?:

Differentiate between weight and mass, recognizing that weight is the amount of gravitational pull on an object and is distinct though proportional to mass. In this interactive tutorial you'll help a curious chicken learn more about this important topic.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Tutorial

Mass and Weight Clarification:

This tutorial covers the difference between mass and weight.

Type: Tutorial

Unit/Lesson Sequence

Middle School Chemistry Unit | Chapter 3 | Density:

Students experiment with objects that have the same volume but different mass and other objects that have the same mass but different volume to develop a meaning of density. Students also experiment with density in the context of sinking and floating and look at substances on the molecular level to discover why one substance is more or less dense than another.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Virtual Manipulative

Using this online calculator, students enter their weight on Earth. Their "weight" on other planets is calculated.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Worksheet

Mass vs. Weight:

This laboratory activity worksheet engages students in an exploration of mass and weight. Students use a balance and spring scale to measure the masses and weights of a several of objects. Students will analyze the data and determine the the relationship between mass and weight using graphing skills. An answer key is attached to assist the use of this resource.

Type: Worksheet

STEM Lessons - Model Eliciting Activity

Glider Challenge:

Students will select a glider model that will meet the needs of a Summer Space Camp program.

NASA: Roving for the right wheel! 3D + MEA:

In this MEA, students will evaluate wheel designs from different companies to determine which wheel is appropriate for the mission. Further 3D printing is integrated by 3D printing different wheel models which can be directly tested using a LEGO Mindsorms Robot or Simple Rubber Band Powered Sled and different Regolith Simulants for the Moon and Titan.

Scout Robot: Mass, Density, Volume, Weight:

In this MEA, students must select which material to use in the development of an advanced military scout robot. Students must analyze data about each material’s individual properties that would make it a valid choice for military or police service. Students must complete calculations to determine material density as well as the overall mass and weight of the robot. This lesson focuses on the characteristic properties of density, unit conversion, and differentiating between mass and weight.

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades K-8

Mass and Weight: What's the Difference?:

Differentiate between weight and mass, recognizing that weight is the amount of gravitational pull on an object and is distinct though proportional to mass. In this interactive tutorial you'll help a curious chicken learn more about this important topic.

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Original Student Tutorial

Mass and Weight: What's the Difference?:

Differentiate between weight and mass, recognizing that weight is the amount of gravitational pull on an object and is distinct though proportional to mass. In this interactive tutorial you'll help a curious chicken learn more about this important topic.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Tutorial

Mass and Weight Clarification:

This tutorial covers the difference between mass and weight.

Type: Tutorial