Cars and Ramps
Lesson 5 of 5
Objective: SWBAT investigate the effect that the height of a ramp has on the distance a toy car will travel.
Setting the Stage
National Science Education 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 height of the incline plane has on the distance the toy car travel?" The students discover the higher the incline plane, 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 and that allows results to be communicated to others. In this lesson, the students will record information (observation, thoughts, and ideas) about the effect various heights of ramps have on the distance a toy car travels. When students observe the data, they discover trends in the data because of the height difference.
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 the difference in the height of the ramp effects the distance that a toy car travels.
Prior Knowledge: Students understand that force is a push or pull that causes objects to move. The students are also aware that gravity is a force that pulls objects toward the center of the Earth. 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.
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.
Cars and Ramps Journal
Students are to record their learning experience in a "Cars and Ramp" journal book. The "Cars and Ramps" booklet is used throughout 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.
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 an incline plane has 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.
Students observe a PowerPoint about cars and ramps. The PowerPoint helps my visual learners as they learn more in depth about the science investigation. After the PowerPoint, the students are asked questions to check for their understanding, so I can assess their learning.
This game is played by students to review the taught content about cars and ramps. Students are placed into 4 groups. Then they are assigned an object that represents their group (i.e. a plane or a hot air balloon). There are 2 hot air balloons and planes that are different colors. The groups are permitted to select a question which is a boarding pass ticket. If they get the question right, they get to move their hot air balloon or plane. Also, they are provided a point on the board. If they miss it, they do not receive a point and a point is taken away. The game is essential because it helps my visual learners. Also, the game captivates students attention which motivates them to be engaged in the taught content.
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 “Cars and Ramps” lab sheet. Groups are asked to observe materials in a designated location (books, art board, toy car, and tape measure). They are asked to observe and ask questions because I want them to think how they can use the provided resources to conduct their test, "What effect does the height has on the distance that the toy car travels?" It also sparks the students interest in the lesson that is about to take place. They are asked to write their questions about the materials. Groups discuss their predictions and record their data on the lab sheet. After groups record their predictions, they record what materials are needed, plan the test, and do the test. During the test, groups decide the height of the incline plane by using various amount of books. This allows students to have ownership of their investigation. They are to do three trials for each number of selected books (i.e 1 book, 2 books, 3 books). 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: When the car travel the farthest? Why? When did it travel the shortest distance? Why? What stayed the same in the experience? What changed in the experience? The' questions are asked to stimulate students' thinking so they can reason about the science investigation. It is important that students discuss about the their investigation in order to think more critically.
While students sit at their desk, we discuss the investigation. They discuss what changes, stays constant, and what unit of measurement was used. This helps me to support students with understanding the Big Idea of Science.
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 distance? When the car travel the shortest distance? Also, the students can discuss the investigation. I take up the students journal to make sure that they had address the question and if they discuss their investigation.