1.)The teacher will introduce the concept of motion by showing the YouTube video Forces and Motion with Sash and Zoe
. Ask the students: How do objects move?
Make note that another good way to introduce this topic is to view the video Forces and Motion
from Discovery Education (see link in technology resources).
After watching either program, ask the students: How do the different forces help or hinder motion?
Ask students to describe examples of gravity and friction.
)In a series of experiments, students will control the action of three different forces and three different masses.
2.)Tell students that they will be conducting an experiment with motion and forces. Demonstrate to students how to make a ramp (place one or more books under one end of the plywood. Gently push the toy car down the ramp. Show students how to measure the speed and distance the car traveled with a meter stick and stopwatch. Talk about ways to make the car travel faster or go farther.
Discuss the forces at work on the car.
Discuss the effects of gravity and friction on the toy car.
3.)Divide the class into cooperative groups of 4-6. Give each group 5 books, blocks, or other stacking materials, along with the plywood, a toy car, and the data record sheet (see attachment).
4.)Ask them to find an open space in the classroom to set up their ramps.
Allow the groups to engage in "free exploration" with their ramps and toy cars by gently pushing the toy cars down the ramp.(Observation Question #1-see attachment)
Have them record a drawing of their ramp in their science journals or on a piece of paper; and, then have them write the amount of stacking materials they used to create the ramp and the height of the ramp.
5.)Tell them to gently push the car down the ramp three times and record the distance and speed at which it traveled each time. (Observation Question #2-see attachment)
Have them find the average speed and distance their cars traveled down the ramp and record the numbers on their data sheet.
6.)Have the students hypothesize whether they think the surface on which the toy car travels will make a difference in speed and distance.
Now, give each group pieces of sand paper, wax paper, and bubble wrap. Tell the groups that they will be investigating friction.
Have students tape the wax paper to the ramp.
Ask them to refer back to their earlier recordings of the speed and distance their cars traveled down the ramp made of plywood.
Have them hypothesize whether the car will move faster or slower on the waxy surface? Will it travel as far or farther than on the plywood?
7.)After recording their hypotheses, have students conduct three trials on the wax paper ramp, recording the speed and distance their cars traveled each time. Then have them find the average speed and distance. (Observation question #3-see attachment)
8.)Have students remove the wax paper and attach the sand paper to the ramp. Ask them to hypothesize whether the rough surface will create more or less friction for the car. Will their car move faster or slower on the sand paper? Have students conduct three trials on the sand paper ramp, recording the speed and distance their cars traveled each time. Then have them find the average speed and distance. (Observation question #4-see attachment)
9.)Repeat the tasks in Step 8, this time using bubble wrap instead of sand paper. Did the toy car move faster or slower when riding on the bubble wrap?
10.)Once groups have finished the activity, allow students to continue the experimentation with kinetic energy online by clicking the link listed below.
At the end of the computer lesson, conduct a whole group discussion using the What We Have Learned attachment.