What Caused that Change in Motion?

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

Big Idea

Students will observe balls changing direction and determine what made the ball's motion change. They will also use a digital resource to change the position of a digital ball.


1 minutes

Warm Up

10 minutes

*Teachers, computers are needed for this lesson. 

I begin the lesson by informing students that today, they will be analyzing and observing the changes in motion of an object. I will advise the students that they need to ask themselves throughout science today, "hey... why'd it do that? What caused that change?"

Next, I will ask the students to activate their background knowledge about the forces push and pull. How can we use what we know about pushing and pulling to describe the possible changes in motion of an object? Allow students time to discuss and share their responses.


25 minutes

I will begin the exploration by informing the students that they will be viewing a video from the Creative Machines Website http://www.ballmachinesculptures.com/gallery/gallery.html. The video will display different ball machine sculptures designed by George Rhoads. I will inform the students that as they watch the video, they need to analyze causes for change in motion. As the video plays, I stop frequently to ask probing questions such as, 'What evidence did you observe that the ball’s motion changed due to a push? What evidence did you observe that the ball’s motion changed due to a pull? What evidence did you observe that a ball’s motion stopped? What evidence did you observe that a ball’s motion started? What evidence did you observe that a ball’s motion changed direction? What evidence did you observe that a ball’s motion slowed down or moved faster?' We will discuss the responses as a class. Stopping the video allows students the time to take notes to reference during the class discussion.

Next, I will provide time for students to work in pairs on the computer. With the provided time, students will engage in the interactive resource Tinker Ball found on the Invention at Play's website http://inventionatplay.org/playhouse_tinker.html. In the game, students will use the materials to determine how a ball's motion can be changed in a variety of ways. I am allowing students this independent computer time to strengthen their understanding of causes of change in motion. As they identify different tools, they can discover how the tool effects the change in the ball's motion. Before concluding, students will discuss with their partner the steps they would take to change the balls motion. 

Wrap Up

10 minutes

Students will complete the What Caused That Change in Motion worksheet. Once complete, as a whole group discussion, I will allow the students the time to discuss the steps that they took to get the ball into their goal. I will ask them if there were some steps that worked better than others. Students will be given the opportunity to share their ideas because there will be several solutions to get the ball into the desired goal. Sharing ideas allows the other students to gain different points of view and solutions, therefore encouraging a further understanding of the different strategies.