What Affects Motion?

Force - Lesson 1

Activity: With your Motion Group, complete the activity on p. 18 of Student White Motion Book.  Answer the questions at the bottom of p. 18  in a group in Notability.

Reflection: Either individually or in group, draw a picture or write words that represent a force (push or pull). (Tribes Strategy Bumper Sticker p. 220 of TRIBES book)

Force - Lesson 2

Force - Lesson 3

Target: Observe: changes in the direction of a moving object

Experiment: with different objects to change the speed and direction of a moving object.

Materials: marble, pencil, string, straw

Essential Questions: Milling to music, share your answers to these questions with a partner.

1. Define motion w/o using the word move or motion. (Answer: change in position over time)

2. How can you make something move?

3. How can you make something stop moving?

4. How can you make something change directions?

Introduction: With your motion group, watch the Brainpop Jr. video linked here:  The video is called "Pushes and Pulls"

username: fgwi      password:hssd

Activity: With your group, complete the activity on p. 20 on the white student Motion book.

Reflection: You are going to record your answers  with your iPad to the questions on the bottom of Student p. 20.

     1. Verbally practice answering each question.

     2. Make sure each person records one answer.

     3. Say your name before you read  your answer.

Gravity Lesson

Target: Observe: changes in a marble's motion

Compare: how marbles fall while at rest and with a flicking motion

Experiment: with a marble as it falls to the ground

Materials: 2 marbles

Put your students in a circle. Tell the students if they know the answer to the question they say, "That's me" and step into an inner circle to answer the question.  When the answer to the question has been stated correctly, they are to find one person outside the inner circle to tell the answer to.  That person should then paraphrase the answer back. (Fewer students may know the answer and may need to team up to share the correct response.)

Essential questions:

1. What keeps us from floating away in space?

2. What is the force that causes things to drop down rather than up or sideways? (gravity)

3. Who is the "father of gravity"? (Isaac Newton)

Activity: With your motion group, complete the activity on p. 22 of the white student Motion book.  Have one person record your answers to the questions on p. 22 on paper and hand it to your teacher.

Reflection: Watch the Brainpop Jr. video linked here.  Take the quiz with your group.  You must get a 4/5 on this quiz.  Show the results to your teacher when you have received a score of 4/5 or better.  If you score lower, please rewatch the video paying close attention to those questions you may have missed. If you need more informaiton, watch this video for a review: Motion and Gravity

Friction Lesson

Target: Students will understand that different surfaces affect the motion of an object

Compare: The distances that a block slides on different kinds of paper.

Experiment: With different papers to see how an object moves on each

Materials: tape, construction paper, large/thin book, wooden block, rule, sandpaper, wax paper, any other paper

Essential questions:

How are surfaces different?

How are surfaces alike?

How does a surface affect motion?


1. Ask students to lightly rub their hands together. then ask their to rub with more pressure.  Ask them what difference they noticed.

2. View the video on friction: Friction      

3. Complete the activity on student page 26.

4. Record answers of their results on paper or white board. Kids can also verbally record their results on an iPad.


"Share the results". Each group sends one student to another group to "share their results" and discuss their findings.

Mass Lesson

Target: Students should understand that mass is a property of objects that can be measured. In addition, they should understand that simply because a particular object is larger than another doesn’t always imply that it is more massive. The goal will also be to give them exposure to balances and their purpose as well as the units of measurement associated with mass.

Compare: objects of different weights and sizes

Experiment: Use balance beams to compare objects of various sizes and weight

Materials: beam balances, objects of varying sizes and weight

Essential questions:

What is weight?

What is mass?

How are weight and mass related/measured?

(Weight and Mass are not the same thing: -Weight depends on where the person is (i.e. earth, space, etc…) -Mass measures the amount of stuff there is, and is the same no matter where you are. -Weight is measured with a scale -Mass is measured with a balance -Heavier things have more mass than lighter things)


1. Place two books—one very large and massive book in addition to one small and less massive book--at each table. Have the students compare the books, and record their observations. If the students do not know what an observation is, now would be a good time to explain that. Have each group share their observations. Write them on the board.

2. Ask the students how they know that something is heavier than something else. Most of them will probably say to use a scale.

3. Ask them if their weight would be the same in space. Discuss how astronauts float in space, therefore showing that weight is different depending on how much gravity there is. From there ask if the astronaut would be made out of the same amount of stuff in space as he is on Earth, or if the stuff he/she was made out of would change when they travel to space. Hopefully they will reach the conclusion that they are still made out of the same stuff. From this point, you can differentiate between the terms weight and mass. A scale measures weight—do we use a scale to measure how much stuff something is made out of too, or do we use a different instrument?

4. Introduce the balance. Ask, too, if they think the bigger book might be more massive.

5. Give each group a few objects, and give the students some time to determine how much mass each object has. Have students record their observations. Bring the class back together, and focus their attention once again on the previous observations about the books. Point to their observations that the bigger book was also massive, and ask if this is always the case.

6. “Are bigger objects always more massive than smaller objects?” They may have different ideas at this point, but to determine the correct answer, have each table come up with an experiment to test this question.

7. Provide each table with different objects (some which are lighter, but bigger than the heavier objects at the table). Approve their ideas and allow them to do their tests, while recording their measurements. After their tests, discuss their results. They should have determined that bigger objects aren’t always more massive—if not, guide their tests until they reach the desired conclusions.

Reflection: Review this video segment: Mass With your group, think of other things that are the same size but have different mass.  Do not use the examples from the video.  Try to come up with  at least 3 examples.

Additional information: Weight and Mass are not the same thing: -Weight depends on where the person is (i.e. earth, space, etc…) -Mass measures the amount of stuff there is, and is the same no matter where you are. -Weight is measured with a scale -Mass is measured with a balance -Heavier things have more mass than lighter things -The size of an object says nothing about its weight or mass