ALEX Lesson Plan

Push Me, Pull You

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Joyce Cromer
System: Mobile County
School: W H Council Traditional School
The event this resource created for:ASTA
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 34486


Push Me, Pull You


This lesson, “Push Me, Pull You” is Day 2 in a series of lessons that help to explain how forces affect objects. In this lesson, students will work as a whole group and in pairs to investigate objects that push or pull other objects, or objects that must be pushed or pulled. As a group, the class will decide on a definition of "push" and "pull".  They will then go outdoors to identify and explore objects that can be pushed or pulled. They will demonstrate pushing and pulling on the playground by doing "push-ups" and "pull-ups" using playground equipment.  In Day 1, “Move It!”, students will identify objects that can be moved and demonstrate how movement puts objects in motion In Day 3, “Tug of War!” students describe relative strengths and directions of the push or pull applied to an object.

This lesson results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: K
1 ) Investigate the resulting motion of objects when forces of different strengths and directions act upon them (e.g., object being pushed, object being pulled, two objects colliding).

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.K.1- Investigate ways to move different objects to include pushing, pulling, and colliding objects.

Local/National Standards:

K-PS2-1.Plan and conduct an investigation to compare the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object.  [Clarification Statement: Examples of pushes or pulls could include a string attached to an object being pulled, a person pushing an object, a person stopping a rolling ball, and two objects colliding and pushing on each other.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to different relative strengths or different directions, but not both at the same time. Assessment does not include non-contact pushes or pulls such as those produced by magnets.]

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will know:

  • Pushes and pulls can have different strengths and directions.
  • Pushing or pulling on an object can change the speed or direction of its motion and can start or stop it.
  • When objects touch or collide, they push on one another and can change motion.
  • A bigger push or pull makes things speed up or slow down more quickly.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Students will predict the effect of the push or pull on the motion of an object, based on prior experiences.

Students will understand that push and/or pull is a force that affects motion, such as speeding up or slowing down the movement. 

Students will demonstrate that an object moves in the direction of the push or pull and be able to identify the pattern created by pushing and pulling.

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Move It! Motion, Forces and You by Adrienne Mason     

Motion, by Darlene R. Stille

How Things Move, by Don L. Curry

Energy in Motion by Melissa Stewart

Give it a Push! Give it a Pull! by Jennifer Boothroyd

Push and Pull by Patricia Murphy

And Everyone Shouted, "Pull!" by Claire Llewellyn

Venn diagram on chart tablet for recording push and pull ideas during the discussion, available for download in Attachments.

science notebook, pencil

clipboard, Student Observations of Movement of Objects (available for download in Attachments)

Technology Resources Needed:

Forces and Motion, BBC interactive


The prior experience with the motion of objects reinforces the investigation of "push" and "pull" of objects in this activity. Students will investigate strengths of pushes and pulls on a variety of objects to identify a pattern of distance, speed, and direction. 


ENGAGE:  The class will review the movement of objects recorded on the chart during Day 1:  "Move It!" lesson. Any misconceptions or areas that were confusing not addressed in Day 1 should be discussed now.

The students will brainstorm opposite movement that results in motion, such as walk/run, open/close, push/pull.   

EXPLORE:  Students will locate objects in the classroom that push or pull or need to be pushed or pulled to be used. They will perform those actions with classroom objects and record findings in their science notebook. The teacher will question, observe, and record student thoughts on the Student Observations of Movement of Objects sheet, available for download in Attachments.

Students will come back together. Through discussion as a group complete a push/pull Venn Diagram, available for download in the Attachments.

EXPLAIN:  Students will work together as a whole group to create definitions of push and pull. The book, Give it a Push! Give it a Pull! by Jennifer Boothroyd will be read to the class. The class definitions will be compared with ones presented in the book. 

ELABORATE: Students will go outdoors to practice pushing and pulling with objects on the playground, such as doing pull-ups or push-ups. Students will answer the questions:

  • Can pushes and pulls can have different strengths and directions?
  • Can Pushing or pulling on an object change the speed or direction of its motion or can start or stop it?
  • When objects touch or collide, will they push on one another and change motion?
  • What happens when there is a bigger push or pull?Will the objects speed up or slow down more quickly?

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Assessment Strategies

Teacher observation of student inquiry and recording of thoughts on "Student Observations of Movement of Objects" sheet. Misconceptions should be addressed with the student(s) following the lesson or on Day 3 at the beginning of the lesson.

Class discussion of comments posted on chart paper

Drawings/recording of thoughts in their science notebook


Books found in Materials and Equipment may be shared, if time permits


The teacher should provide additional opportunities for students to push and pull objects and observe the movement of them.

View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.