Forces and Motion

Description: The students in this unit will use their inquiry skills to explore pushing, pulling, and gravity. They will also explore the different variables which affect the movement of objects, including weight, shape, surface resistance, and gravity. They will also explore how gravity aids in the movement of objects down a slope.

Standards Aligned With This Unit

CT State Science Standards:

Content Standard:

• Forces and Motion – What makes objects move the way they do?

Expected Performances:

• A10. Describe how the motion of objects can be changed by pushing and pulling.

• 1.1 Motion is caused by a push or a pull.  A push or pull is called a force.
• 1.1 Pushes and pulls can start motion, stop motion, speed it up, slow it down or change its direction.
• 1.1 An object can be set in motion by forces that come from direct contact, moving air, magnets or by gravity pulling it down toward the earth.

Science Integration:

Science Inquiry: Students in this unit will be experimenting with a variety of different materials to see the ways they move in response to force. They will be recording what they see and then organizing their data. They will also be making predictions and then using what they know to create models.

Science Literacy: In this unit students will read fiction and non-fiction texts related to the unit. They should be encouraged to identify the main idea (A1 Literacy Standard) of the text, and to make connections (C1 Literacy Standard) with what they have learned about in class and other texts. The teacher can also question the students about why the author included specific sections in the book (B2 Literacy Standard).

Science Numeracy: The students will be using math skills such as examine attributes of objects and describing the relationships (CT Math Standard1.1), describing, naming and interpreting direction and position of objects (CT Math Standard 3.2), collecting, organizing, recording and describing data (CT Math Standard 4.1), organizing data in tables and graphs and making comparisons of the data (CT Math Standard 4.2), and  determining the likelihood of certain events through simple experiments and observations of games (CT Math Standard 4.3).

Unwrapped Conceptual Ideas:

• Pushing and Pulling are the ways that people and machines exert force.
• Shape has an effect on how objects move.
• Weight has an effect on how objects move.
• Resistance keeps an object from moving as far or as quickly.
• Gravity is a different type of force which pulls everything down to the earth.

Unwrapped Major Skills:

• Student will be able identify objects they push and pull.
• Students will define force.
• Students will measure and record how different objects move.
• Students will create models in which they apply the rules of movement they have learned.

Common Misconceptions:

• Objects which are not in motion have no force applied to them.
• The surface on which an object rolls does not affect its motion.

Instructional Strategies That Work:

Letting students lead the discussion with the teacher acting as a guide, allowing students to experiment and then demonstrate their findings, providing students with a variety of materials to experiment with, allowing students to work together cooperatively, encouraging students to record data and use math skills to quantify data.

Vocabulary Words:

Push, pull, force, data, organize, Venn diagram, weight, shape, round, edge, surface, balanced, unequal, movement, gravity, earth, slope, flat

Connections to Literature:

Real Science 4 Kids, Rebecca Keller

Eyewitness: Force and Motion, Peter Lafferty

Motion, Darlene Stille

Experiments with Motion, Salvatore Tocci

Move It! Motion Forces And You, Adrienne Mason

Overview of Lessons:

Lesson One: What is Pushing and Pulling

Lesson Two: What do we Push and Pull

Lesson Three: Organizing our Data

Lesson Four: Moving our Bodies

Lesson Five: Weight, Force, and Movement

Lesson Six: Shape, Force, and Movement

Lesson Seven: Surface, Force, and Movement

Lesson Eight: Balanced and Unbalanced Forces

Lesson Nine: Introduction to Gravity

Lesson Ten: Gravity and Slopes

Culminating Activity:  Students will create a motion station. In this setup and object of their choice moves the farthest with the least amount of force. This demonstrates their awareness of how shape, weight, surface, and gravity affect motion.