Short Blocks

Maths Year 1/2 Spring Measures and Data

Each unit has everything you need to teach a set of related skills and concepts.

Compare and measure weight (suggested as 2 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1
Put a potato in one side of a bucket balance and a pebble in the other side. Explain that the heavier object makes the balance go down on that side. Let children ‘be a balance’, like a see-saw, with arms outstretched. Pass round 100g weights. Children suggest things which are lighter and things which are heavier.
Group Activities: T with Y1
Y1 -- Compare objects to the weight of a book, finding objects heavier and lighter. Some children will order the objects from lightest to heaviest.
Y2 -- Compare everyday objects with 100g and 1kg weights.

Day 2
Put an apple on one side of a balance scale, then put marbles on the other until the scale balances. Count the marbles. Draw a pictogram. Repeat with other objects.
Further Teaching with Y2
Explain the need for standard measures. Show 1kg, 1g and 100g weights. Weigh a shoe in 100g steps.
Group Activities: T with Y2
Use the ‘Ten to the kilo’ in-depth problem-solving investigation below as today’s group activity.
Or, use these activities:
Y1 -- Use bricks to estimate and weigh different pieces of fruit/vegetables.
Y2 -- Weigh items, such as cooking ingredients, to the nearest 100g.

You Will Need

  • Items to weigh: large pebble, potato, bag of potatoes, cotton wool, books
  • Bucket balance scales
  • Kitchen scales
  • 1kg weight, 100g weights, 1g weights
  • ‘Heavier and lighter’ (see resources)
  • ‘Comparing Weights’ recording sheet (see resources)
  • ‘Weighing Tins’ activity sheet (see resources)
  • A selection of objects to weigh, e.g. books of different sizes, bag of potatoes, bag of rice or sugar (weighing exactly 1kg), bag of apples
  • 2 large sheets of paper
  • Marbles, wooden bricks (or similar uniform objects)
  • Fruit and vegetables, including an apple
  • Tins of food with the weight on the labels covered
  • Flapjack ingredients

Short Mental Workouts

Day 1
Estimating and comparing

Day 2
Left and right


Day 1
Y1: Compare weight of common items using own experience.
Y2: Sort objects into categories by weight: <100g and >100g.

Day 2
Y1: Determine the weight of objects on scales, balanced with bricks. Answer questions relating to weight.
Y2: Record weight by counting 100g weights on balance scales; classify as <500g or >500g.

Mastery: Reasoning and Problem-Solving


  • Which is heavier:
    (i) A potato or a pebble?
    (ii) A book or a shoe?
    (iii) A soft toy or a paint pot?
    Use a bucket balance to find out.
  • Sometimes, always, never true...
    -- A book is the same weight as 12 marbles
    -- A shoe is heavier than a sock?
    -- A big handful of cotton wool is lighter than three 50p coins?
  • Weigh two of your favourite books using wooden bricks. Write their weight. Which weighs more?


  • Does each item weigh more or less than 100g?
    -- A ruler
    -- Can of lemonade
    -- A hard-boiled egg
    Check using a balance scale.
  • How many 100g weights balance 1 kilogram?
  • Match each object to one of the weights:
    tin of beans
    bag of sugar
    box of books
    1 gram
    3 kilograms
    400 grams
    1 kilogram
    200 grams

In-depth investigation: Ten to the kilo
Children use estimation and accurate measurement skills to find exactly ten items which weigh precisely one kilogram.