Surface Surfers

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Objective

SWBAT investigate what effect the surface type has on the distance the toy car travels.

Big Idea

Junior Scientist recognize that friction affects the force needed to move objects.

Setting the Stage

National Science Teacher Standards

The lesson addresses "object's motion can be described by observing its position over time." In this lesson, students collaborate in group to complete an investigation, "What effect does surface type has on the distance the toy car travel?" The students discover the smoother the surface, the farthest the toy car travels.

Science and Engineering Practice

SP4 addresses "once collected, data must be presented in a form that can reveal any patterns and relationships." In this lesson, students' record information about the effects of various surface types have on the distance a toy car travels. When students observe the data, they discover trends in the data based on the surface type.

SP8 addresses communicating information or design ideas and/or solutions with others in oral and /or written forms using models, drawings, writing, or numbers that provide detail about scientific ideas, practices, and/or design ideas. Students collaborate in groups to discuss how surface types effect the distance that a toy car travels.

Prior Knowledge: Students understand that force is a push or pull that causes objects to move. They also understand that motion is movement. Students are learning that force is needed in all science concepts.  Also, students learn that cars are used in their everyday life and that force is applied to help a car function.

Junior Scientists:

In my class, my students are called Junior Scientists. They wear lab jackets they created early in the school year to be worn during experiments. I call them junior scientists to encourage them to major in Science and Math related careers. I want them to develop a love for Science and Math. Also, we sing "It Is Science Time" or "I Got A Feeling Song" before each lesson.

Teacher note:

Cars and Ramps Journal

Students are provided a Cars and Ramps journal. They record their learning experience in their journal book. The "Cars and Ramps" booklet is used through out our the entire "Cars and Ramp" unit. The book helps students to showcase their learning but at that same time help to support their writing skills. Their parents read their book at the end of the unit to enhance parental involvement.

Materials:

 

 

 


Engage

15 minutes

At their desks, students sing a song at the opening of each science lesson.  This song motivates and engages my Junior Scientists at the beginning of each science lesson. During science lessons, I call my students scientists to empower students and make them dreamers and doers.

“I can” statement

I call on a student to read our "I Can" statement for the day. While using an over-sized microphone, a scientist says, "I can investigate the effect different surface types have on the distance the toy car will travel." The "I Can" statement helps students take ownership of the lesson as they put standards into context. The other students praise the student that reads the "I Can" statement by clapping.  I encourage students to give each other praise to boost their self-esteem.

Video

Students view a video about friction. In this video students learn about friction. At the conclusion of the video, students discuss the things that were viewed on the film. This discussion opens the door for the investigation "What effect does the surface type have on the distance that the toy car travels?" It helps the students visualize how different surface types effect the distance an object travels.



Explore

25 minutes

 At their desks, students sing a song at the opening of each science lesson.  This song motivates and engages my Junior Scientists at the beginning of each science lesson. During science lessons, I call my students scientists to empower them and encourage them to become dreamers and doers.

While students are sitting at their groups' tables, they assign their group roles such as: a person who records, manages, and reports. I permit the students to select these roles so they can capitalize on their strengths.  This also boosts students' self esteem. I select the leader who is the student that demonstrates leadership qualities.  The students are provided group labels and clothes pin clips. They are encouraged to wear their labels. I provide the students with the group labels  to help them identify their roles. Also, it helps promote a positive classroom environment with little disruption.

Groups are provided a “Surface Surfers” lab sheet and surface type boards. Groups are asked to observe the surface boards. They are asked to observe the boards because I want them to think about how the properties of each board effects the distance the toy car travels.  It also sparks the students interest in the lesson that is about to take place. Groups discuss their predictions and record their data on the lab sheet. After groups record their predictions, they do the test. During the test, groups use three different surface types ( rubber, sandpaper, and cork) to do three trials for each surface type. Groups record how far each car traveled during each trial on the lab sheet. Once groups have finished the trials they draw conclusions about what happened during the investigation.

As the groups work, I facilitate their learning by asking the following questions: What surface type permitted the car to travel a short distance? the sandpaper What surface type permitted the car to travel the farthest distance? cork What changed in the investigation? surface and distance What stayed the same in the investigation? the toy car

These questions are asked to gain insight about my students understanding.

Surface Type-video

Surface Surfer-Lab Sheet-Student Work

Evaluate

15 minutes

While students sit at their desks, students are given three real world scenarios of a car traveling on three different surface types (snow, gravel, and clear street). They write down how these surface types effect how the car travels. This assessments helps me to see if students used what they learned from their investigation. I take up the assessments to check their understanding.

Cars and Ramps Journal

Students are to record their learning experiences in a "Cars and Ramp" journal book. In the students' journal, they were to answer the following question: When did the car travel the farthest or shortest distance?  Also, they should discuss their investigation. I take up the students journal to make sure that they had address the question and if they discuss their investigation.

Cars and Ramps Journal-Student Work

Cars and Ramps Journal-Student Work 2