TeacherVision - Lesson Plans, Printables and more Free Trial  Member Benefits  Sign In    
Search:   
We have merged TeacherVision's international content onto one website. Educators around the world can use TeacherVision.com to browse an extensive library of teaching materials. You can still find relevant content for Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States in our Educators' Calendars.  [x] CLOSE
|
 

Gravity and Weight on Other Planets

Grade Levels: 3 - 6

Objectives

  • Students will practice multiplication skills.
  • Students will learn about mass, weight, and gravity.

Materials

  • Scale (one per class is plenty)
  • Calculator (optional)
  • Weight Chart (see lesson)

Procedure

  1. Start with a mini lesson about mass, weight, and gravity. Here is some background information:

      Weight is a measurement of the force on a object caused by gravity trying to pull the object down. Mars has less gravity than Earth. Therefore if you were on Mars you'd weigh less because the force of gravity wouldn't be as strong as it is here on Earth.

      Does this mean you would suddenly be thinner on Mars? No. You would have the same amount of mass as you do on Earth. (Mass is the amount of stuff inside an object.)

      So, on Mars, your mass would be the same as it is here on Earth. But you'd weigh less because Mars has less gravity than Earth.

      Gravity is an attractive force. This doesn't mean it's pretty. What "attractive" means is that an object's gravity pulls other objects toward it. Look at the chart (see below). The Earth's gravity naturally pulls us, and everything else, toward the center of the planet, which keeps us from drifting off into space.

      The Earth isn't the only thing that has gravity. In fact, every single object in the universe has gravity. The tables you're sitting at have gravity. They are pulling you towards them. You have gravity, and you are pulling the tables towards you. We can't see or feel these things happening because people and tables have a such a small mass that the effects of gravity cannot be seen.

      Mass is the amount of stuff contained inside an object. It takes a lot of mass to make a lot of gravity. The Earth has a lot of mass, so it has a lot of gravity. The moon's gravity is about 1/6 the amount of the Earth's because the moon has less mass than the Earth.

      So what does all this have to do with weight? Well, weight is the force on a object caused by gravity trying to pull the object down. A scale measures how much gravity your mass has. A person with more mass has more gravity, and therefore weighs more.

      You've probably seen video footage of astronauts walking on the moon. They seem to float between each step. Remember that the moon has about 1/6 the amount of gravity that the Earth has? Well, if you went to the moon, you'd weigh less than you do here on Earth. Does this mean you would suddenly be thinner on the moon? Absolutely not. Your mass would be the same -- there is no less of you on the moon. But your weight is different because the moon's gravity is different.

    Instructions for the Project:

  2. Look at the Weight Chart.

  3. Weigh yourself, or guess what you weigh.

  4. Record your mass in the chart below. Your mass is your weight on Earth.

  5. Multiply your mass times the gravity in each row to figure out your weight at each location.

  6. Where do you weigh the most? Where do you weigh the least?

Weight Chart

Location

Mass

Gravity

Weight

Earth

blank

1

blank

Outer space

blank

0

blank

Earth's moon

blank

0.17

blank

Venus

blank

0.90

blank

Mars

blank

0.38

blank

Mercury

blank

0.38

blank

Jupiter

blank

2.36

blank

Saturn

blank

0.92

blank

Uranus

blank

0.89

blank

Neptune

blank

1.13

blank

Pluto*

blank

.07

blank

To calculate your weight: mass x gravity = weight

*On Aug. 24, 2006, Pluto got "demoted" to dwarf planet status. Read more about Pluto's new status at our sister site, Fact Monster.

Highlights

Videos
Do your students love videos? We have a growing collection of videos (including related activities) for holidays and events, including: women's history, Memorial Day, Independence Day, slavery & the Civil War, U.S. Presidents, handwashing awareness, the Common Core, American History, and the environment. Enjoy!

May Calendar of Events
May is full events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Backyard Games Week (5/18-25), Buy a Musical Instrument Day (5/22), and Memorial Day (5/25). Plus, celebrate Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month, Inventors Month, Physical Fitness & Sports Month, and Water Safety Month!

Teaching with Comics: Galactic Hot Dogs
Reach reluctant readers and English-language learners with comics! Our original teaching guides to the Galactic Hot Dogs comic series (chapters 1-4 and 5-8), as found on Funbrain.com, will take students on a cosmic adventure while engaging their creative minds. Plus, find even more activities for teaching with comics, featuring many other classic stories.

Now available: Galactic Hot Dogs in print! Buy it at bookstores now.

Poptropica Teaching Guides
Poptropica is one of the Internet's most popular sites for kids—and now it's available as an app for the iPad! It's not just a place to play games; each of the islands featured on the site provides a learning opportunity. Check out our teaching guides to four of Poptropica's islands: 24 Carrot Island, Time Tangled Island, Mystery Train Island, and Mythology Island.

Free 7-Day Trial for TeacherVision®

Sign up for a free trial and get access
to our huge library of teaching materials!
Start Trial