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The mass of an object is a measure of the amount of matter in it. Weight is the force that gravity exerts on an object and so can vary from place to place. The terms mass and weight are used loosely, and inaccurately, in everyday speech to mean the same thing. The NZ curriculum document reflects the correct use of the terminology and uses the term mass not weight.

Level 1 Mass

Achievement Objectives Learning Outcomes Unit title


  • push, pull, lift and handle objects in order to become aware of mass
  • compares 2 masses by pushing and lifting
  • pack materials and fill containers
  • pour liquids from and into containers

Tricky Bags

  • compare two objects by weight
  • order three or more objects by weight
  • describe the weight of objects using comparative language, for example, heavier, lighter


  • compare a group of 3 or more objects by mass
  • measure mass with non-standard units

Measuring beads

Level 2 Mass

Achievement Objectives Learning Outcomes Unit title


  • estimate weight in kilograms and grams
  • measure accurately using kilograms and grams

Weighing Stations

  • recognise a 100 gram mass
  • record measurements in kg and g using decimal notation
  • accurately measure specific amounts of materials

Great Grams

  • use objects of 1kg mass to estimate the mass of other objects
  • discuss the need for having and using standard measures of mass
  • make sensible estimates about the mass of given objects
  • explain the meaning of metric prefix terminology (e.g kilo)

Making benchmarks - mass

Level 3 Mass

Achievement Objectives Learning Outcomes Unit title


  • recognise the need for a standard unit of mass
  • recognises a kilogram mass
  • relates the kilogram to everyday containers and familiar non-standard units

Supermarket shopping

Level 4 Mass

Achievement Objectives Learning Outcomes Unit title


  • select the appropriate standard unit of measurement for a specific application
  • measure masses with appropriate measuring devices
  • measure net and gross mass

Weighty problems