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Teeter Totter - Balance

Teacher Notes

Students are given two pictures showing animals on teeter totters. In one picture the two animals are shown in balance (they weigh the same). In the other pictures, animals are shown off balance (they have different weights). Give each child a copy of the pictures A and B. On your copy, keep the set of questions. Answers are in parentheses.

Students answer questions about the perceived weights of the animals, and then determine who weighs the most and the least.

Teeter Totter 1

  1. Tell me what you see.
  2. When I name the animals, I want you to point to them. Cynthia the squirrel. Bob the bat. Leonard the lion.
  3. Which picture shows two animals that weigh the same? (A) How can you tell from the picture? (The balance is not tipped.)
  4. Which animal weighs more in Picture B? (Leonard the lion.) How can you tell from the picture? (The lion side of the teeter totter is lower.)
  5. Who weighs the most? (Leonard the lion.) How did you decide? (The squirrel and the bat weigh the same. The lion weighs more than the squirrel, so he also weighs more than the bat. The lion weighs the most.)

Teeter Totter 2

  1. Tell me what you see.
  2. When I name the animals, I want you to point to them. Kit the cat. Donald the dog. Rafael the raccoon.
  3. Which picture shows that Kit the cat weighs less than Donald the dog? (B) How can you tell from the picture? (Donald the dog is on the bottom of the teeter totter and Kit the cat is on the higher side.)
  4. Which picture shows that Rafael the Racoon weighs the same as Donald the Dog? (A) How can you tell from the picture? (The teeter totter is not tipped.)
  5. Who weighs the least? (Kit the cat.) How did you decide? (The cat weighs less than the dog. Since the raccoon and the dog weigh the same, the cat also weighs less than the raccoon.)

Teeter Totter 3

  1. Tell me what you see.
  2. When I name the animals, I want you to point to them. Horace the hippo. Ollie the otter. Wally the walrus.
  3. Which two animals weigh the same? (Wally the walrus and Horace the hippo) Which picture show that they weigh the same? (B)
  4. Which animal weighs less than Horace the hippo? (Ollie the otter) How can you tell from the picture? (Ollie’s side of the balance beam is higher.)
  5. Who weighs the least? (Ollie the otter) How can you tell? (Since the walrus weighs the same as the hippo, and the he hippo weighs more than the otter, then the walrus weighs more than the otter. So the otter weighs the least.)

Teeter Totter 4

  1. Tell me what you see.
  2. When I name the animals, I want you to point to them. Roosevelt the rhinoceros. Donald the deer. Bernice the bear.
  3. Which picture shows that Roosevelt the rhinoceros weighs less than Bernice the bear? (A) How can you tell from the picture? (The rhinoceros is on the upper side of the teeter totter and the bear is on the lower side.)
  4. Which picture shows that Roosevelt the rhinoceros weighs the same as Donald the deer? (B) How can you tell from the picture? (The teeter totter is not tipped.)
  5. Who weighs the most? (Bernice the bear) How did you decide? (The rhinoceros and the deer weigh the same. Since the bear wears more than the rhinoceros, then the bear weighs more than the deer. So, the bear weighs the most.)

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