Topic: How to write a lesson plan for first grade
May 20, 2019 / By Aston Question:
I am teaching summer school and it is first grade math. We are doing measurement this whole week and I would like to touch and do a very basic introduction on weight, however, I cannot find a good lesson plan that will work. Most lessons want you to have a balance scale, problem is, I don't have access to one. I thought about having various objects and having them guess which one would be heavier and then lifting them up to see if they were right, not sure how successful that would be. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.
Abagael | 2 days ago
Lucky for you I wrote a lesson plan for 1st grade weights and measurements about two months ago. Here is the set, instruction, and practices. I decided to use a balance scale for my lesson but I created it myself in about 20 minutes. It was so easy, so cute, and so accurate! Here's the how to:
Get a sheet of foam board. You can find it at any store that carries poster boards. It is about a 1/4 of an inch thick and supper light. I always keep some on hand because you can use it for anything! (A teacher must-have!)
Using an exact-o knife (or kitchen knife of scissors) cut a piece about 3"x12" or whatever size you would prefer. I also cut 8 pieces 1/4"x3" (or, however wide your first piece was). I used a little bit of glue to make a small box on each end of the first piece so that it formed sort of a tray to help hold on the items you are weighing.
Finally, flip the piece over (so the trays are facing down) and use a ruler to find the middle. The more exact your middle the more accurate your scale will be. Place two thumb tacks in the middle (like this --> [ : ] The ":" represents the two thumb tacks.) I put just a dab of glue on each thumb tack so that it would stay in and I didn't have to worry about the kids pulling them out. If your thumb tacks pop out on the top place another 1/4"x3" strip of the foam board to cover the points.
Mine ended up being very accurate. The thumb tacks raise the trays so you can see it tip to one side and also are wide enough feet that it can hold both sides up if they are equal. Make one for every few students if you have the time. Like I said, it takes about 15 minutes. I added some paint to give them some color.
Set: Ask the class to predict which of two objects is heavier, lighter, weighs more, weighs less and about the same. The different terms will help them to grasp the concepts. make the two objects obviously different weights. ex: "Which do you think is heavier; a mouse, or an elephant?" [Answer: elephant].
Ask the class, "What does the word heavy mean?" You may get answers such as big, hard to carry, etc. Explain that the word heavy describes the weight of something; it is the opposite of light. Heavy is a comparative term; one object is heavier than another, one object is lighter than another.
"If we have two objects, how can we figure out which one is heavier?" Students may suggest that we hold on in one hand and one in the other and figure it out that way. "This could work, but is there another way? We can use a measurement tool called a balance scale. (show a class scale if you have one or else show the made manipulative) Balance scales are used for weighing. It has one long beam with a single support in the middle which allows the two sides to teeter, like a seesaw on a playground. If one side weighs more than the other it rests on the table while the other side stays in the air. If both sides are the same weight the both sides of the balance will be at the same level above the table."
Practice with the scale and with a student. Have one student come up to the front. Have him or her hold one marble in one hand, and five marbles in the other hand. "Which hand feels heavier?" It may be difficult for him or her to tell since both would be light but the hand with more marbles will be heavier. "Now let's test it on the balance scale." Place one marble on one side of the balance scale and five on the other side. The side with the five marbles will rest on the table. "The scale shows us that five marbles are heavier than one. Now let's try with a marble and a cotton ball. If I place one cotton ball on one side, and one marble on the other side which side will be lower?" Before you place the marble on ask the students to predict. Place the marble on the balance scale. "Why did the marble side fall to the table? Isn't there only one item on each side? And they are able the same size." Student's will eagerly explain to you that the marble side is lower because it is heavier than the cotton ball. "If the marble is heavier, then this means the cotton ball is lighter."
"What happens to the scale if I place one cotton ball on each side?" Place a cotton ball on each side and the scale will not move. "Why didn't the scale move? Is it broken?" Student response: "No, they weight the same."
give each student or group 6 objects have them guess what order they will be in from lightest to heaviest then weigh them using the scale to see if they were correct.
Choosing different objects and guessing which one is heavier is really a lesson on density. Or weight, you should stick with the same material. Perhaps have different amounts of sand in different size containers have have them predict which weighs the most. You can you a kitchen scale as you don't need a balance.
Then you could add equal weight of of the sand together and show that their weights will add together to get the new weight (i.e. twice as much sand weighs twice as much)
Here's a scale you could make easily.
Or making the scale in the classroom could be the first part of the lesson.