Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Weighted Eggs

Diane Reinstatler


Students arrange 5 plastic eggs (with objects of different weights inside) in order from lightest to heaviest.


The student uses direct (measured) and indirect (not measured) comparisons to order objects according to some measurable characteristics (length, weight).


-24 plastic eggs (4 of six different colors)
-1 item per egg of various weights small enough to fit in a plastic egg (such as a lead weight, a cork, an eraser, a battery...)
-6 egg cartons, balance scales, various objects to weigh on balance scales, bathroom scales


1. Gather 24 items of various weights, small enough to fit in a plastic egg. Some suggestions are: a battery, a cork, an eraser, various size bolts, various coins, a lead weight.

2. Place in each of the four eggs of one color an item of different weights, making sure the weights vary enough to be ordered successfully.

3. Predetermine the correct order of the eggs in a color group and mark them with a code not noticeable to the child to make assessment easier.


1. Lead a short discussion about things that can be weighed and how to weigh them.

2. Show a bathroom scale (many children are familiar with it) and show and discuss what this kind of scale can tell us.

3. Introduce a balance scale and let a few children weigh 2 things and tell which is heavier and lighter and how they determine it.

4. While other students are engaged in another activity that will hold their attention (puzzles, centers...), give six students 4 eggs of one color.

5. Give the students ample time to compare the weights of their eggs.

6. Students order the eggs from lighest to heaviest and place in an egg carton in appropriate order.


Each child individually weighs his/her eggs on balance scale and compares the weights to determine if he/she ordered them correctly from lightest to heaviest.

Mastery is -established- if the child correctly ordered all 4 eggs.

Mastery is -emerging- if child ordered 3 of the 4 eggs correctly.

Mastery is -not yet evident- if 2 or fewer eggs are ordered correctly.


This math learning activity is part of a spring unit on eggs as part of the theme, -Living Things.-

-Let kids trade colors and order those eggs from lightest to heaviest.
-Change the order requested and challenge the students to order from heaviest to lightest.
-Make a picture chart of the items from lightest to heaviest.
-Explore/discuss that biggest is not always the heaviest and smallest is not always the lightest.

Software for reinforcement, reteaching, or enrichment: Millie's Mathhouse, Ed-mark Corp, 1992
Comparison Kitchen, DLM, 1985

A literature connection is: Allen, Pamela. Who Sank the Boat? SRA/McGraw-Hill, 1995.

Web Links

Web supplement for Weighted Eggs
The Math Forum

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