Video: Choosing Grams or Kilograms to Measure the Mass of an Object

What is the mass of the leaf? [A] 1 gram [B] 1 kilogram

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Video Transcript

What is the mass of the leaf? One gram or one kilogram.

Our question asks us what the mass of the leaf is. In other words, how heavy is it? Now, if the question just asked us this and didn’t give us any clues, then we might find it quite difficult to answer. But we can see at the bottom we’ve got two answers to choose from, which makes it easier for us. Both our answers have the number one in front of them. The mass of the leaf is one something. But is it one gram or one kilogram? We need to choose the correct unit of measurement.

To help us, let’s remind ourselves of some objects that weigh about the same as one gram and one kilogram. One gram is about the same as a stick of chewing gum. And a large dictionary is about the same as one kilogram. Now, we’ve thought about these everyday objects. It can help us think about the mass of the leaf. We can see straight away, can’t we, that one gram is quite light. And although one kilogram isn’t really, really heavy, it’s still a lot heavier than a gram.

So what do you think, is the mass of the leaf more likely to be the same as a stick of chewing gum or a big dictionary? It’s more likely to weigh one gram, isn’t it? Think about the way that leaves fall from the tree slowly and get blown around by the wind. We can pick lots and lots of them up in our hands, and it doesn’t feel heavy at all. A leaf is very light, and so we know the mass of the leaf is one gram.

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