Lesson 1: What Is Balance?

Getting Started

Questions to Explore

  • How can a state of balance be found?
  • How can matter be described?
  • How can matter be compared?

Facts and Definitions

  • Balance means making two amounts equal to each other.
  • A balance is a tool used to see how the weight of materials compares to each other.
  • Solids and liquids can be balanced.
  • Weights can be used to weigh matter on a balance.


  • Read and write numbers 0-99 to describe sets of objects (M)
  • Model and create addition problems using concrete objects (M)
  • Use grouping of twos, fives, and tens (M)
  • Observe and describe balance as a function of position and weight (S)
  • Describe and observe systems that are unstable and modify them to reach equilibrium (S)


  • What Is a Balance Scale? by Moving Beyond the Page
  • balance scale
  • gram weights
  • large cup of milk
  • large cup of water
  • paper clips
  • small pieces of candy


Ask your child what it means to balance. Ask your child to stand on one foot and use her arms to help her balance. Balance means she is trying to even out the weight on both sides of her body so that she does not tip over to one side. Explain that balance has many different definitions. One definition is to make two amounts equal to each other.