Lesson Plan: The Relationship between Mass and Weight Physics

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to apply Newton’s second law of motion to define gravitational field strength as the force acting on an object per kilogram of its mass.


Students will be able to

  • identify weight as a force that acts on an object with mass in a gravitational field,
  • recognize that acceleration due to gravity in meters per square seconds (m/s2) is equal to gravitational field strength in newtons per kilogram (N/kg),
  • calculate weight forces where acceleration due to gravity may vary,
  • recognize that variation in weight due to variation in acceleration due to gravity does not involve variation in mass.


Students should already be familiar with

  • Newton’s first law of motion,
  • Newton’s second law of motion.


Students will not cover

  • Newton’s third law of motion,
  • Newton’s law of universal gravitation.

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