Metric Measurement: Weight

Contributor: Meghan Vestal. Lesson ID: 11338

Wait! What weight is 1 kg? Why are pills weighed in milligrams? Does "mass" matter? Discover the metric system of measurement with online, then play your homemade "grams" card game!


Measurement and Data

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

Lesson Plan - Get It!

  • How would you weigh a newborn baby born in France?

In the first part of this Metric Measurement series of Related Lessons, found in the right-hand sidebar, you learned about units of length.

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

  1. Make a list of the four primary metric units used to measure length.
  2. Next to each unit, write an example of something you would measure using that unit.
  3. When you are finished creating your list, have your teacher or parent check the list to make sure you included all four units, and that your examples are accurate.
  4. 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, before moving forward with this lesson.

In this lesson, you will continue learning about metric units of measurement by investigating metric units of weight. Do you know what weight means? Tell your teacher or parent what your definition of weight is.

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 is in an object. As with metric units of length, all units of weight have a root word with one of the following prefixes in front of it:

  • kilo-
  • hecto-
  • deka-
  • deci-
  • centi-
  • milli-

In metric units, weight is described in grams, and the most commonly-used metric units of weight are grams and kilograms.

Pick up a paperclip. Is it heavy or light? A paperclip weighs about one gram. Grams are used to weigh small, light objects, such as a loaf of bread or an article of clothing. Are you shocked by how light a gram is?

Another metric unit of weight is a kilogram. A cantaloupe is about one kilogram. Kilograms are used to weigh medium and large objects, such as people, animals, and large books. There are 1,000 grams in one kilogram. Look around your house. What are two objects you would weigh using grams? Tell your teacher or parent.

Now that you know the two most commonly-used metric units of weight, move on to the Got It? section to play metric weight games.

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