Time to Change Motions

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Students will be able to describe what may have caused a change in an object's motion.

Big Idea

Students will use a a small rubber ball, index card, T pin, 12 inch length of string, and a Unifix cube to change the direction of the rubber ball.


1 minutes

Warm Up

10 minutes

I will begin this lesson by reviewing the definition of motion. I will ask the students, "What is motion?"  We will discuss that motion is the change of position of an object. As a warm up activity, I will select a few students as volunteers. The student volunteers will form a line and walk around the perimeter of the classroom. As they walk around the classroom, I will ask the students, "How can we change the motion of this line?"  

Next, I will have a few volunteers stand together (in a place where they will block the moving line) with their arms linked together. I will inform the class that this new line of students will represent a wall. As a class, we will discuss what they think will happen to the line as it approaches the wall and why?


We will discuss as a class how having a wall in the way of the moving line causes the line to change directions. I will reference a real life example such as walking to the media center or walking in a store. One has to change motions to navigate their way.


 I will inform the students that today, they will use different materials to cause a change in motion. They will then have to describe, what caused the change?


25 minutes

I will begin the lesson by placing students in groups. I will explain to the students that today they will be analyzing the position and motion of an object. They will be creating a change in that object's position and motion. I will inform the students that it is their goal to describe what caused the change."


Next, I will display a small rubber ball, an index card, a t pin, a twelve inch piece of string, and a unifix cube. These will be the materials that the students will be using in their exploration today. I will ask the students, "How do you think you can use these materials to demonstrate a change in an object's motion?"  One example would be to place the block on the carpet (if your classroom does not have carpet, you can modify this lesson to suit your classroom). Next, place the index card on top of the block to form a ramp. Tie the string to the T Pin and stick the T Pin into the carpet at the base of the ramp. Extend the string to resemble a finish line at the base of the ramp. Allow the rubber ball to roll down the ramp. As it gets to closer to the finish line, pull on the string to try to stop the ball.


Students will work together to brainstorm a way that they can use the materials to demonstrate a change in an object's motion. They may take notes in their journals, discuss, or draw pictures. They will be allowed no more that five to seven minutes for this.


The remaining time will be provided for groups to arrange and carry out their ideas. As students are working, I will walk around and encourage additional thinking by asking probing questions such as, "are your steps effective to reach your goal. Does something need to be changed and if so what?" Students should be recording their observations in their science journals. 

Wrap Up

10 minutes

Collect all materials from each group. Have students come back together for a "wrap up" to review the lesson. Ask the students, "What can change an object's motion?" List their responses on the board. Categorize the student responses into either a PUSH or a PULL. Ask the students, "how does a push or a pull effect an object's motion?"


Have students complete the PUSH/PULL Graphic Organizer as an exit card.