This is a level 2 algebra strand activity from the Figure It Out series.
A PDF of the student activity is included.
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interpret diagrams that represent equations
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
1. 12 green balance 2 blue.
2. 12 red balance 4 black.
Answers will vary.