I call students to the gathering area where I have a table set up with the materials for the mystery demonstration, under a table cloth. We review what we learned yesterday and students share their observations.
I begin today’s lesson with another egg drop demonstration. This Youtube video describes the process beautifully and I show it to the students after I have done the experiment. I do it in two different ways. I hit the pie plate with my hand. I also use a pizza pan near the edge of the table and use a straw broom. I stand on the straw and hold the broom up against my body. I then let it go and the force from the broom hits the pizza pan to make it move. This is a great way to show students the forces in play and the first law of Newton.
Students work together in teams to explain what is happening in each of the demonstrations. I give them activity sheets that state the Newton’s Law they are working on. They use their observation data and questions and answers to come up with explanations of Newton’s Law. They fill in the graphic organizer for presentation to the class at sharing time.
Before I release students to work, I introduce three terms they may need help understanding. I tell them that every time they move an object, they have to overcome three characteristics of matter: gravity, inertia, and friction. Gravity resists your lifting process. Inertia fights your movement of the object (resistance to change). Friction also fights your movement of the object if the two surfaces rub together. Friction can be useful or problematic. If you don’t lube an engine, it will break. If you lube a violin string, it will not make any sound. If you lube an eraser to prevent friction, it will not erase your mistakes. Friction can be friend or foe!
Although I don’t define the terms, I try to give student some understanding of them so that they can understand the concepts enough in their investigations and come to their own definitions of the terms, which they will share with the class.
I call students to the gathering area. Each group shares their findings and definitions of the Laws. Together we make posters for each of the laws and define the terms for ourselves. These will be displayed in the classroom for the remainder of the unit.