Surface Matters

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Students will be able to suggest possible causes for changes in motion of objects as they move across different textured surfaces .

Big Idea

Students will make predictions about how the surface area outside of the school, will effect a ball's motion.


1 minutes

Warm Up

10 minutes

Consider gathering playground balls from the physical education teacher for this lesson.


I begin this lesson by taking the class outside near the school and observing the different surfaces that the students can roll a ball on (blacktop, mulch, grass, paths, etc). As we arrive at each surface, I have students describe the texture of each surface. I explain to students that they will make predictions about how the surface will effect the motion of the ball. I divide the students into small groups before they begin conducting this investigation.


Students are conducting this experiment to determine how different surface areas effect motion.


25 minutes

Next, I have the students begin their exploration by completing the Surface Prediction Sheet. Having the students made predictions about the effect of surface areas on a ball, encourages the students to take risks and use what they know to predict an outcome. Once complete, I allow the students time to test out their predictions on the different surfaces. Each group will only have one ball. The students will be required to roll their ball across the various surfaces and record their results on their Surface Prediction sheets. Students are recording their results on their prediction sheet, to compare their gathered data with their predictions.

Wrap Up

10 minutes

Students will complete the exit card to compare their predictions to the data collected from their experiment. I will collect the exit cards to analyze the student responses. Their responses will determine their proficiency in describing how surfaces affect the motion of an object.