ALEX Lesson Plan


Newton's Laws of Motion

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Lee Brownell
System: Russellville City
School: Russellville Middle School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 6183


Newton's Laws of Motion


Students use toy cars, a CBR sonic motion detector, and pennies to investigate Newton's Laws of Motion.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
SC (8)
8. Identify Newton's three laws of motion.
  • Defining terminology such as action and reaction forces, inertia, acceleration, momentum, and friction
  • Interpreting distance-time graphs
  • TC2 (6-8)
    11. Use digital tools and strategies to locate, collect, organize, evaluate, and synthesize information.
    Examples: locating—Boolean searches, graphic organizers, spreadsheets, databases
    collecting—probeware, graphing calculators
    organizing—graphic organizers, spreadsheets
    evaluating—reviewing publication dates, determining credibility
    synthesizing—word processing software, concept-mapping software
    TC2 (6-8)
    13. Use digital tools to formulate solutions to authentic problems.
    Examples: electronic graphing tools, probes, spreadsheets
    SC2015 (8) Physical Science
    9. Use Newton's second law to demonstrate and explain how changes in an object's motion depend on the sum of the external forces on the object and the mass of the object (e.g., billiard balls moving when hit with a cue stick).
    SC2015 (8) Physical Science
    10. Use Newton's third law to design a model to demonstrate and explain the resulting motion of two colliding objects (e.g., two cars bumping into each other, a hammer hitting a nail).*

    Local/National Standards:


    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Students will analyze the effects of force, mass, and acceleration. Students will follow written lab procedures.

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

    Students will use technology in a science setting to gather, record and analyze data.

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    31 to 60 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    Per group of students: Ramp, 2 equal mass Hot Wheels toy cars, 5 pennies, tape, meter stick, lab procedures (see attachments)

    Technology Resources Needed:

    CBR sonic motion detector, graphing calculator


    Students and teacher need to know how to use the CBR and graphing calculator.

    1.)The lesson is divided into 3 labs that can be completed in any order. In lab 1 (see attachment), the students explore Newton's 2nd law of motion.

    2.)The lesson is divided into 3 labs that can be completed in any order. In lab 2 (see attachment), the students explore Newton's 3rd Law of Motion.

    3.)The lesson is divided into 3 labs that can be completed in any order. In lab 3 (see attachment), students explore Newton's 3rd Law of Motion.

    4.)After labs have been completed, facilitate a class discussion where students summarize and compare findings and relate how their findings support (or refute) Newton's Laws of Motion.

    **Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.

    Assessment Strategies

    The teacher will check the entries in the lab book for completeness and accuracy.


    Students may want to find the force of the crashes using the formula F=MA. Students will need to find the mass of the cars and the pennies. Some students may also find it interesting to find the speed of the cars. For more advanced students, a scale speed can be obtained.


    Some students may need extra preparation with the Laws of Motion. Teachers may want to restate the laws in simpler terms.

    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.