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.