- To measure how heavy objects are
Three weighted buckets or bags: one light bucket with a picture of straw on it; one heavy bucket with a picture of sticks on it; one heavier bucket with a picture of bricks on it; a drinking straw, a few craft sticks, a heavy book; chart paper, markers; The Three Little Pigs
Show children the illustrations from The Three Little Pigs by James Marshall. Have children guess if the straw, sticks, and bricks are light or heavy.
Display a drinking straw and a large book. Ask, Which object is light? Which object is heavy? Then show a bundle of craft sticks (or something similar), hand the straw and the sticks to a volunteer, and ask, "Are these sticks heavier or lighter than the straw?" Repeat with the sticks and the book, asking whether the sticks are heavier or lighter than the book.
- Tell children that the three little pigs have left some buckets of straw, sticks, and bricks in the room to measure. Explain that their job is to decide which is the lightest, which one is heavier, and which is the heaviest of all. To find out, children will have to guess and test.
- Ask children to guess which bucket will be the lightest and which will be the heaviest, then lift to test their guesses. Make sure that each child guesses and lifts the buckets.
Title an experience chart "Straw, Sticks, Bricks." Have children tell what they learned. The children may say, "Straw is light. Sticks are heavier than straw. Bricks are heavier than sticks. Bricks are the heaviest. Sticks are lighter than bricks. Straw is lighter than sticks. Straw is the lightest." Write their responses on the chart. You may wish to use little pictures instead of words, or a combination of both.
- Proficient - Child is willing to guess and test, can lift items, and can tell the difference between lighter and heavier.
- In Process - Child participates and lifts items, but needs prompting to tell which is lighter or heavier.
- Not Yet Ready - Child is reluctant to lift items and does not yet say if items are heavy or light.
More on: Learning Activities for Preschoolers
Excerpted from School Readiness Activity Cards. The Preschool Activity Cards provide engaging and purposeful experiences that develop language, literacy, and math skills for preschool children.