In Student/Parent Resources, Year 2, Year 3

Level: Year 2 and Year 3

Author: Anna Bock


The focus of this activity is to encourage  students  to measure, order, compare and check the mass of a range of objects using hefting (holding something to test its mass) or formal units of measure.

This activity can be repeated many times as the object chosen will be different every time and the way students measure the items may also be different. Students  learn to measure by measuring so it’s important to provide them with a range of experiences to engage with these skills.


Materials: Choose five objects to measure e.g. book, an apple, packet of biscuits, a ball, a pencil or any other objects you can find, balance scales or kitchen scales


  • Think about which of these objects has the least mass and most mass.
  • Compare the masses of your objects by hefting.
  • Which of your objects is the lightest?
  • Which object is the heaviest?
  • Arrange your objects in order from lightest to heaviest.
  • Use a set of scales to check if you are right.
  • Draw your objects in order from lightest to heaviest and record their measurements

We want students to:

  • Estimate the mass of a range of objects by using what they already know about the objects they have chosen and how heavy they may be.
  • Use hefting to compare the mass of the objects they have chosen.
  • Order objects from lightest to heaviest.
  • Check the mass of their objects using scales.

Notes for parents: Initially using estimation and hefting to measure allows children to focus on the language associated with measuring, for example heavier, lighter, heaviest and so on, this will help them when comparing the mass of objects.Eventually children will move to formal units of measure, the standard unit of measure for mass is the kilogram. Using a range of  scales will help children with measuring in formal units.

This activity covers the following Australian Curriculum-Mathematics Content:

Year 2:

  • Compare masses of objects using balance scales (ACMMG038)

Year 3:

  • Measure, order and compare objects using familiar metric units of length, mass and capacity (ACMMG061)

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