Customary Measurement: Weight

Contributor: Meghan Vestal. Lesson ID: 11306

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your knowledge of weight? What units of weight are used in the United States? Figure out how to weigh everyday objects, practice online, and learn a new song!


Measurement and Data

learning style
Auditory, Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • What unit of weight would you use to measure each of these objects?

bag of apples and a corgi

In the first part of this Customary Measurement series, you learned about units of length.

Let's take a few minutes to review what you learned about length.

  1. Make a list of the four customary units of measurement used to measure length.
  2. Next to each unit, write an example of something you would measure using that unit.
  3. If you were unable to recall all four units or you struggled to come up with an example, make sure to review the Related Lesson on length, found in the right-hand sidebar.

In this lesson, you will continue learning about customary units of measurement by investigating customary units of weight.

  • What is weight?

Write down your definition of weight.

Weight tells us how heavy an object is. When you weigh an object, you are actually finding the object's mass, which is how much matter makes up an object.

  • What units do you typically hear people use when they are talking about weight?

Primarily, there are three customary units used for measuring weight: ounces, pounds, and tons.

Ounces are used to weigh very small objects.

One slice of bread is about one ounce. Ounces are used to weigh objects that are light, such as a bag of chips, a letter in the mail, and a box of pencils.

A pound is the most commonly used customary unit of weight.

A one-liter, plastic bottle of soda is about one pound. There are 16 ounces in one pound.

Pounds can be used to measure small, medium, and large objects, such as animals, electronics, and a bag of potatoes.

Pounds are also what are used to weigh people.

The third unit of weight is the ton.

Tons are seldom used, because an object has to be very big and heavy to weigh one ton. A standard-sized car is about one ton.

There are exactly 2,000 pounds in a ton. Tons are used to weigh very large objects, such as heavy machinery and cruise ships.

Let's look for examples of when to use each unit of weight. Copy the following chart onto a separate piece of paper:

Ounce Pound Ton






As you watch the video below, listen for examples about when to use ounces, pounds, and tons. Write the examples you hear in the correct column on the chart.

Ounces, Pounds, and Tons from Lauren Wiepking:

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Continue to write any examples of ounces, pounds, and tons that you can think of.

Then, review your chart with a someone. Ask them if they have any examples that you can add to the chart.

  • Do you know what tool is used to measure weight?

Scales are used to measure weight.

There are different sizes of scales for different sizes of objects. The heavier the object, the larger the scale needed to weigh the object.

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