Exploration with Balance Scales


Curriculim: Measurement

From the Ontario Ministry of Education Kindergarten Curriculum

  • 2.2: demonstrate a willingness to try new experiences (e.g., experiment with new materials/tools; try out activities in a different learning area; select and persist with things that are challenging; experiment with writing)and to adapt to new situations (e.g., having visitors in the classroom, having a different educator occasionally, going on a field trip, riding the school bus)(SRWB) 
  • 3.2: demonstrate the ability to take turns during activity and discussions (e.g., while engaged in play with others; in discussions with peers and adults)  (SRWB) 
  • 13.2: make predictions and observations before and during investigation  (PSI) 
  • 13.3: select and use materials to carry out their own explorations  (PSI) 
  • 13.4: communicate results and findings from individual and group investigations (e.g., explain and/or show how they made their structure; state simple conclusions from an experiment; record ideas using pictures, numbers, and labels)  (PSI) 
  • 16.2: investigate strategies and materials used when measuring with non-standard units of measure (e.g., why feet used to measure length must be placed end to end with no gaps and not overlapping, and must all be the same size; why scoops used to measure water must be the same size and be filled to the top) (DLMB) 


  • Introduce students to the concept of balancing scales


  • Balance scales 
  • Items to balance (e.g. small cubes, Lego pieces, beads) 



  • Bring out a balance scale and have a discussion about it
  • Use the following prompts
    • What do you think the scale is for?
    • How would you use it?
    • What does a scale tell you?
    • What are the different parts?


  • Explore how a scale can show how much one object weighs in comparison to another object
  • Divide students into small groups and provide them with a balance scale and materials (e.g. small cubes)
  • Ask students to try an make the scale balance


  • Have a discussion on student’s experience of using the balance scales
  • Use the following prompts:
    • Did you get the scale to balance?
    • How did you know the scale was balanced?
    • Was it easier or harder to get the scale to balance with certain materials?
  • Encourage the use of vocabulary: balance, heavy, light


Balancing Scales Outside