# Lesson Plan

## A Mass of Pennies

Main Subject Area: Science

Duration of Lesson:  45 minutes

Keywords:

• Cent
• Coins
• Estimation
• Mass
• Measurement
• Penny

Brief Description:

Students will estimate and determine the number of cents (pennies) that are needed to equal the mass of a variety of common objects.

National Standard(s):

• Unifying concepts and processes in science
• Science as inquiry

• Measurement
• Number and Operations

Objectives:

Students will understand the definition of mass.

Students will develop a process for measuring and will explore concepts related to units of measurement.

Students will make and use estimates of measurement.

Materials (online):

“How Many Pennies” recording sheet

Materials (offline):

\$2.00 in cents (pennies) for each student group

Common items: walnut, ping pong ball, crayon, eraser, pencil, small stone, a shell, felt marker Balance or scale

Coins Used in Lesson:

Currently circulating U.S. cents (pennies)

Procedures (online):

Download and make copies of the “How Many Pennies” recording sheet from http://lspace.learningspace.org/usmint/howmanypennies.html

Procedures (offline):

1. Review the term “mass” with your students. The term can be used interchangeably with the term “weight,” but more specifically an object’s mass is the amount of material in an object that causes it to have weight.

2. Divide students into groups of four. Give each group a “How Many Pennies” recording sheet, \$2.00 in cents (pennies), an age appropriate balance or scale, and a tray containing the “Common Items” listed under Materials (offline).

3. In their groups, have students use their own “body balance” (comparing the weights in their own hands) to estimate the number of cents (pennies) it will take to equal the mass of each item on their tray. Students should record their estimate on the “How Many Pennies” recording sheet.

4. Students will then use the balance and the pennies to measure the mass of each object, and will record their findings.

Assessment / Evaluation:

Students can be evaluated on their responses to the “How Many Pennies” recording sheet.

Differentiated Learning Options:

For more advanced students, have the student determine the weight of one cent (penny) and then weigh each object. Have the student use this information to see if they can figure out how many cents (pennies) it would take to equal the mass of each object.