Algebra Activities

Say the word Algebra, and it strikes fear in the hearts of many.  The algebra activities on this page, and throughout this site, make learning algebra easy and fun.  Take the example in picture below.

Balanced Scaled

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Doing algebra is a lot like how a Balance Scale works.  And most young people understand how that works.   For example, if I add a certain amount of weight to one side of the scale, to make it stay balanced, I know I need to add the same weight to the other side of the scale.

Guess what happens if you don’t add the same amount of weight to one side as you do to the other side.  Well, take a look at the picture below if you’re wondering.

UnBalanced Scaled

In Algebra, we always want the Scale to Stay Balanced.  So in the above algebra example, too much weight was added to the right side of the scale.  So the scale is not balanced anymore.

So here's our first algebra balance scale activity.  In these algebra problem activities you'll see empty boxes and boxes with numbers on the scale.  The first one below is done for you.  The object of this algebra activity is to:

  1. Write an algebra equation for the balance, and
  2. Determine what the resulting value of the variable, x is.

There are two blocks on the left, one has a 5 in it and the other is empty. The students will first write an equation.  Explain to them that the middle of the balance scale acts as the equal sign.

So the blocks on the left should always equal the blocks on the right. So in this example, the two blocks on the left, side must equal 9, the block on the right side of the balance scale.

Now time for the students to give it a try.  Print this algebra scale activity, and students will look at the balanced scales and determine what each of the given shapes will weigh on order to keep the scale balanced.

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