Balancing Act


This is a level 2 algebra strand activity from the Figure It Out series.
A PDF of the student activity is included.

Achievement Objectives
NA2-6: Communicate and interpret simple additive strategies, using words, diagrams (pictures), and symbols.
Student Activity

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Specific Learning Outcomes

interpret diagrams that represent equations

Required Resource Materials
FIO, Level 2-3, Algebra, Balancing Act, page 24

Activity One

The main idea in this activity is that balance on a set of scales demonstrates an equality relationship. For example:

To solve the question “How many G's balance two B's?” students will need to work out how to convert the blues into an equivalent mass of yellows so they can use the first relation shown above.
If one blue balances three yellows, then two blues balance six yellows. From the first set of scales, we know that each yellow is balanced by two greens. So 6 x 2 = 12 greens will be needed to balance two blues.
Often the difficulty for students in these problems is keeping track of the information, so it is a good idea to encourage students to keep a written record.

Answers to Activities

Activity One
1. 12 green balance 2 blue.
2. 12 red balance 4 black.
Activity Two
Answers will vary.


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