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Lesson Plan

The Triple Beam Balance by ECSDM

Grade Levels

Elementary, Intermediate, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade


This lesson will familiarize middle school special education students with the function and parts of the triple beam balance as part of a unit on measurement, specifically measuring mass.

Target Audience

This lesson was created to be utilized in a multi-grade middle school special education class where students are reading and functioning below a third grade level. While intermediate learning standards and performance indicators are addressed, reading material has been modified to the instructional grade level of the students.


  • Students will be able to complete a diagram of a triple beam balance naming all parts.
  • Students will be able to recall the function of each part of the triple beam balance.
  • Students will be able to answer questions pertaining to the procedure of using the balance parts when determining the mass of an object.


90 minutes


  • SMART Board/SMART Notebook software (optional)
  • Diagram of the Triple Beam Balance (large copy for demonstration-SMART Board or teacher-made with blank spaces for labeling of its parts and individual copies for students)
  • Writing instruments for students/teacher


  1. Teacher will display the triple beam balance diagram for the students on the SMART Board (or large poster-sized diagram). Students will recall that the triple beam balance is used to determine an object's mass.
  2. Teacher will show the labeled diagram of the balance and explain each part's function.
  3. Students will receive a blank diagram to complete independently or with a partner.
  4. Upon completion of diagram, teacher will show a large blank diagram on the SMART Board or in poster form. Students will take turns coming up to the SMART Board or large diagram to label the parts. Another volunteer will offer an explanation of each part.
  5. For homework or during the next class, the students will complete the Triple Beam Balance questions worksheet to ensure their understanding of each part,
  6. For extension of concepts, students will utilize an actual triple beam balance with a partner to discuss the parts and their functions to prepare for a lab activity where they will determine the mass of various objects.


Students will be observed by the teacher during the lesson to determine progress. The teacher will also assess understanding of the concepts and the ability to apply information to another task by giving the students a blank diagram of the triple beam balance to complete along with "Triple Beam Balance Questions."


This instructional content can be used with SMART Board. The .xbk file can be used with the SMART Notebook software. If you do not have access to the SMART Board, you may view the Triple Beam Balance Diagram in .pdf format.

  • Triple Beam Balance.xbk
  • Triple Beam Balance.pdf
  • Triple Beam Balance Questions

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