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Exploring Concepts of

Force and Motion

Alaska Discovery Unit Second Grade

Written by Katie Villano, TASK Fellow 2006, University of Alaska Fairbanks in collaboration with Melanie Hinzman, TASK Partner Teacher, Joy Elementary School

Second Grade Science Standards Addressed: · Force and Motion- Students will investigate the relationship between motion and energy. Students will explore gravity as a force (S. A. 5, 6, B, C, D).

Target Concepts: · All things are in motion. · Gravity is a force that affects motion. · Friction is a force that affects motion.

Target Skills: · Observation · Inference · Prediction · Invention and creativity · Measurement

· · ·

Collecting and interpreting data Communication Extension of concepts to an Alaskan context


· · · · · · ·

Lesson 1- Laws of Motion Lesson 2- Gravity and Friction Lesson 3- Motion Machine Inventions Lesson 4- Motion Machine Experiments Lesson 5- Motion Machine Interpreting Data and Making Conclusions Lesson 6- Motion in Alaska Appendix: Handouts and examples for each lesson


Lesson 1: Laws of Motion Materials: -Large chart paper - Motion Bill Nye the Science Guy Video, 23 min. -Observation worksheets -Glass bottles -Quarters

-Strips of paper (approx. 1.5 in. wide and 6 in. long) -Moving toys (wagon, balls, cars, trucks, tops, magnets, etc.) -Rulers -Pennies

Gear-Up: Have the students close their eyes and imagine a world without moving things. What would it look like? Would it be possible? Describe how everything in the room, the planet, the galaxy is in motion. Every galaxy, right down to every electron inside the atoms that build everything around us, is moving. Explore: Brainstorm as a class on large chart paper three lists in the following order: "What we already know about motion," "What we wonder about motion," and "How we can find out about motion." Generalize: As a follow up to the final brainstorming chart, we can find out about motion by watching the Bill Nye the Science Guy Video Motion. This movie does an excellent job of outlining Newton's Laws of Motion in an age-appropriate manner. Go over the three laws of motion again as a whole class and discuss what they mean. Discuss what "force" means (a push or pull) and have students think of examples. Law 1: Objects at rest stay at rest and objects in motion stay in motion, unless acted on by some outside force. Law 2: To move something you need a force. Law 3: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Explore: To demonstrate the Laws of Motion, break students into three groups to rotate through the following hands-on activity stations. Prior to the lesson, have three stations set up around the room for each law of motion. Allow ten minutes for each group to try the station. Have observation worksheets for students to stay on task. If students finish early, have them help the other members of their group. Law 1: Have several glass bottles, strips of paper and quarters (flat round rocks also work well for this activity) available. Place one end of the strip of paper on the mouth of the bottle. Place a quarter on top of the paper so that the coin is centered over the mouth of the bottle (see Appendix for photograph). Carefully take the loose end of the paper strip and yank it swiftly. If done correctly, the quarter will remain on the top of the bottle due to the first law of motion. It may take a few tries for the students to get the hang of it. Have students make


observations. What happened? Why did the quarter stay there? Even though the quarter was supposed to stay on the bottle, why didn't it always work? Law 2: Have a variety of moving toys out for the students to explore. Have students pick one toy to explore in depth. Have them draw the toy. How does it move? What is the force that makes it move? Is it a push or a pull? Is it your muscles or gravity? If you do not touch the toy can it move? Law 3: Have two rulers taped to a smooth table top just far enough apart that a line of pennies can fit between them. Place a line of ten pennies between the rulers, so that the pennies are touching. (Have one set of rulers and pennies for each student in the small group.) Have the student take one penny from the beginning of the line and flick it down the ruler chute toward the other pennies (see Appendix for illustration). What happened? How many pennies moved off of the other end? Repeat the flick using two or three pennies. How many pennies moved from the other end of the line now? Why does this happen? Generalize and Interpret: As students rotate through the groups, have them complete the observation worksheets for each station. The questions will guide them through the activity and apply the three laws of motion to what they have observed.


Lesson 2: Gravity and Friction Materials: -Eyewitness: Force & Motion by Peter Lafferty, the Science Museum of London, -Ball -Pencils -Hard cover book -The Way Things Work: Friction, animated video based on the book by David Macaulay, 13 min., Schlessinger media, 2002. -Gravity mini-book worksheets, from Read and Understand Science, Grades 1-2 by Evan-Moor Corp. 2002. (See Appendix) Gear-Up: Review with students concepts from lesson 1. Things that are still remain still, things that are moving remain moving, unless acted on by some other force. What made the quarter remain on the bottle? To move something you need a force. What was the force that moved the quarters? For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Where did we see this law demonstrated in the last lesson? Explore: Drop a ball in front of the room. What made it fall? What was the force that made it move? Brainstorm with students. Generalize: Introduce gravity. Read a page on gravity in Eyewitness: Force & Motion. Explore: Roll the ball slowly across the carpet. If Newton said that an object in motion stays in motion, why didn't the ball keep rolling? What was the force or forces that made the ball move? What was the force or forces that made the ball stop? Brainstorm with students. Generalize: Introduce friction. Read page on friction in Eyewitness: Force & Motion. Experiment: Have students rub their hands together to feel the heat produced from the friction. Have them put a pencil between their hands and rub again. Why didn't it feel as hot when the pencil was there? Have them try sliding their math book across their desk. Try again with some pencils lined up under the math book. Was the math book easier to move with or without the pencil underneath? Interpret: The pencil helped reduce the friction between hands and between the book and the desktop. Apply: What ways can the students think of that we can do to help gravity to move things, but also reduce friction? (eg. Make the surface flat and smooth like a ski or sled, add wheels like a wagon or a car, etc.) Watch The Way Things Work: Friction video. Extension: Have students color and assemble mini-book on gravity (see appendix) and practice reading it together during silent or partner reading periods.


Lesson 3: Motion Machine Inventions Materials: -Invention planning worksheet (See Appendix) -Cardboard, pre-cut into small squares -Recycled cereal boxes and soda cans -Scraps of wood -Skewers -Short dowels (approx. 4 in.)

-Wooden spools -Small wooden wheels -Popsicle sticks -Pipe cleaners -Wire -Gravel -Duct tape

Gear-Up: Review concepts from previous two lessons. Comment on ways that moving things can overcome friction (for example smooth surfaces, wheels, oil/lubricant). Introduce the motion machine experiment, and explain that they will be inventing a moving thing that the class will use to see what factors allow something to move a long distance using only gravity as a force. Have the building materials laid out in front of the class. Let the students gather around and get a good look at all the supplies. Show examples of teacher-constructed motion machines, one that is a sliding machine (with skis or a similar sliding surface) and one that is a rolling machine. Point out how to make a wheel and axel that will be able to rotate. Explore: Using the invention planning worksheet, have students sketch a design for the motion machine that they want to make. Apply: Using some of the knowledge they have gained in the previous two lessons, have them justify why they think their design will travel far using only gravity as a force. Have students record this answer on their planning worksheet. Explore: Students can now build their machines out of the supplies at hand. If the cardboard and dowels have been pre-cut, the students will not have to handle scissors. The most trouble that the second graders will have is with ripping the duct tape. It is helpful to have parent helpers going around with the duct tape to help students rip tape and secure the cardboard pieces together. Allow students to play with their machines once they are done building. If they run into glitches with their design, like crooked wheels or parts rubbing together, encourage students to make adjustments to their invention.


Lesson 4: Motion Machine Experiments Materials: -Student motion machine inventions -Data sheets (See Appendix) -Graph paper worksheet (See Appendix) -Balances and weights -Ramp -Measuring tape Gear-up: In the hallway or classroom create a ramp to test the motion machines on. Have a measuring tape extended from the start of the ramp to about three meters past the end of the ramp. Have balances set up to weigh the machines. In front of the whole class, use the example machines to demonstrate the three tests that they will be conducting on their machines. (The three tests are outlined in the "Experiment" section of this lesson.) Generalize: Have students make a hypothesis on which types of machines will go the farthest down the ramp. Will the rollers, sliders, or roller-slider mix machines go farthest and why? Will the heavy machines or the light machines go the farthest and why? Challenge the students to apply knowledge from the previous lessons to make their hypotheses. Have students record their hypotheses on their data sheets. Experiment: Test 1: Students will weigh their machines on a balance. Have students record the weight on their data sheets. Test 2: Students will determine the surface area of their machine that is touching the floor. This will give the students an idea of how much friction between the floor and the machine that their invention will have to overcome. To do this, the students will place their machine on the graph paper worksheet and trace around the parts of the machine that touch the paper. The students will color all the squares that are completely inside the traced area or more than half inside the traced area. Finally, the students will count the number of squares that are colored in and record it on their data sheets. Test 3: Students will release their machine down the ramp. Each student should try their machine three times and record the distances on their data sheets. Emphasize the importance of repetition in scientific investigations. Interpret: Have students begin to think about why some machines traveled farther than others. Did rollers or sliders seem to go farther? Did the heavy or light ones seem to go farther? Did machines that had a large area touching the floor go as far as the ones with little area touching the floor? Were there any problems with some of the machines that made them not go very far?


Lesson 5: Motion Machines Interpreting Data and Making Conclusions Materials: -Completed student data sheets -Overhead projector -Overhead transparency with a hypothesis chart on it (See Appendix) -Overhead transparencies with graph paper on them (See Appendix) Gear-up: On the black board have students orally review their preliminary observations about what happened in their experiment. Introduce the concept of a bar graph. Interpret: Have a blank graph set up on an overhead projector. Place the student names on the y-axis and the distance traveled on the x-axis. With the bar graph set up in this manner, it is easier for the students to translate the bar into how far the machine moved across the floor. Have students report the distance their machine traveled and come to the overhead to color in their bar on the graph. You may only want to do this with a few students or only for the first test and have a precolored graphs that show all the results for all three tests ready if time is short. Have students look at the graphs and try to notice patterns. Whose machine went farthest? Was it heavy or light? Did it have lots of area touching the floor or only a little? Was it a roller or a slider? Can we say that the heavier the machine, the farther it will go? Can we say that rollers will always go farther than sliders down the ramp? Have students write a collective conclusion to the experiment? Apply: Have students reconsider their own invention. On a sheet of paper have students write a sentence on how far their machine went compared to the other students' machines. Have them write another sentence on what they would have to change about their machine if they wanted it to go farther.


Lesson 6: Motion in Alaska Materials: -Sled Dogs Run by Jonathan London, illustrated by Jon Van Zyle, 2005 -Children's skis -Plastic sled -Children's bike -Children's wagon -Large butcher paper with 10x10 cm grid drawn on it -Bathroom scale -Measuring tape (100-150 ft long) -Snowy playground hill or nearby treeless slope -Data sheet (See Appendix) Gear-up: Read Sled Dogs Run outloud to the class. Brainstorm with the class why it is important for dog sleds to have ski-like runners to travel in the Alaskan winter rather than wheels. Would the sled work with wheels? Brainstorm the ways that people can move around in the winter in Alaska. What do all these types of transportation have in common? In what situations can wheels work in the winter in Alaska (i.e. plowed roads, hard-packed snow, etc.). Bring out the skis, sled, bike and wagon and introduce the experiment. The class will be conducting a life-sized repeat of the motion machine experiment using these four moving things. They will use the snowy hill on the playground instead of a ramp. Generalize: Based on what they know from the motion machines experiment, and what they noticed about forms of winter transportation in Alaska in the gear-up, have the students formulate a hypothesis on which moving thing will go the farthest down the hill. Remember, just as in the motion machine experiment, gravity will be the only force making the thing move (no pedaling, pushing or extra movement). Experiment: This experiment will take the same form as the motion machine experiment: first, weigh the object and its rider; second, trace the surface area touching the ground of the object; and third, let the object and rider go down an incline using only the force of gravity to make it move. Divide the class into four groups. Each group is in charge of one of the moving things. They will each record the data for that object and then the class will come back together to compare data between the objects. The group will divide up roles for the experiment. Roles could include: a student to ride the object, students to hold the rider steady and release him or her, one to hold an end of the measuring tape at the base of the hill, one to stretch the tape to wherever the object stops moving, one to read the measurement, one to record, etc. Test 1: The group will weigh their object and the designated student rider. The rider will stand on the bathroom scale holding the object on the scale with him or her. This will give the students an overall mass for the moving unit.


Test 2: The group will determine the surface area of the object that will be touching the ground as it moves down the hill. They will place the object on the pre-made piece of giant graph paper (10x10cm square grid on butcher paper) and trace it just like they did with the motion machines. They will count the number of squares that are more than half contained by the traced area and record it on their data sheets. Test 3: The group will determine how far down the snowy hill their object can move using only gravity. All groups will use the same side of the hill. Have the rider and the releasers climb to the top of the hill. Be sure to tell the riders to go as straight as possible. The students in charge of the tape measure will stretch it out from the base of the hill to wherever the object stops moving. The recorder will record the measurement. Each group should repeat the measurement three times. Interpret: Once back inside, the four groups will report their data. Make three bar graphs in the same style as the motion machine experiment (object vs. distance, object vs. weight, object vs. surface area). This process will be much less time consuming due to the fact that there are only four objects being tested. Which object went the furthest? Did rollers or sliders do better on the snow? Why might this have happened? Why didn't more potential friction on the sled and skis (due to greater surface area touching the snow) make the sliders stop sooner? Apply: Have the students think of other surfaces they could test the objects on and predict which would travel the farthest if released down the hill. If there wasn't any snow on the hill, which object would have gone the farthest? What kinds of moving things would be the best for getting around Alaska in each season?



Lesson 1

Examples of Student-Generated Brainstorming for Gear-up

What do we already know about motion? Engines make cars and vehicles move. ­Cole and Victor Turbos can make cars go faster. ­Justice Ice Skates make you slide and glide. ­Cassidy Legs and muscles make people move. ­Pinki Wheels help a bike move. ­Kimi Oil and gas make a snowmachine move. ­Abby Superchargers make cars go faster by having bigger engines and pushing cars. ­Derek Force makes things move. ­Daniel X-ray machines move. ­Logan Earthquakes move the earth and knock things down. ­Xavier The wind moves paper. ­Sydney Volcanoes erupt and move. ­Hunter

What do we wonder about motion? How does gas make an engine move? ­Cole How does my brain make my body move? ­Justice and Pinky How does lava form, build up and move? ­Logan and Cassidy Do lava islands in the ocean form because of the earth moving? ­Daniel How do the hands of a clock move? ­Victor What makes rolling things stop? -Ms. V How do earthquakes move? ­Cassidy How is the earth moving and spinning in space? ­Xavier How does water move? ­Kimi Does time and movement have anything to do with each other? ­Hunter How does lava move out of volcanoes? ­Justice



Illustrations of Laws of Motion Stations Law 1:

Law 3:



Lesson 2





Lesson 3


Motion Machine Invention Plan

My motion machine will look like this:

(Draw a picture of your invention idea)

It is a: (Circle one)




It will go far because: ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________



Lesson 4


Motion Machine Experiment Data Sheet


I think this type of motion machine will go farthest: (Circle one from each row) Roller Roller-slider mix Slider

Why?__________________________________________ _______________________________________________


Medium weight


Why?__________________________________________ _______________________________________________


My motion machine turned out like this: (Draw a picture)



It weighs ____________ ounces.

It traveled this far down the ramp and on the floor: 1st try: _______________ inches 2nd try: _______________ inches 3rd try: _______________ inches

The parts of my machine touching the graph paper filled ____________ number of squares.

What happened?




How much surface area of our motion machines touches the ground?

1. Put your motion machine on the paper. 2. Trace around all the parts of your motion machine that touch the paper. 3. Color in all the squares that touch inside your tracing. 4. Count the number of squares that are colored.


Appendix Test 1: Weighing the motion machines.

Test 3: Measuring the distance the motion machine could travel down the ramp.



Lesson 5


What kinds of motion machines will go farthest? Number of guesses in our class

Type of machine


Roller Roller-slider mix Slider Heavy Medium Light


Appendix Examples of graphs to color in on overhead projector

Our Motion Machines Went This Far!

Nathan Sara Abby Xavier James

Student in Mrs. Hinzman's Class

Jacob Kimi Cassidy Collin Hunter Haleah Justice Justin Sydney Cole Victor Derek Pinky Logan Daniel 0 10 20 30 40 50 60

Inches Travelled Down the Ramp

Our Machines Weighed This Much!

Nathan Sara Abby Xavier James

Student in Mrs. Hinzman's Class

Jacob Kimi Cassidy Collin Hunter Haleah Justice Justin Sydney Cole Victor Derek Pinky Logan Daniel 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20

Weight in Ounces



This Much of Our Machines Touched the Floor

Nathan Sara Abby Xavier James Student in Mrs. Hinzman's Class Jacob Kimi Cassidy Collin Hunter Haleah Justice Justin Sydney Cole Victor Derek Pinky Logan Daniel 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160

number of squares inside the area we traced



Lesson 6


Alaska Motion Experiment Data Sheet


I think this moving thing will go farthest: (Circle one) Skis Sled Bike Wagon

Why?__________________________________________ _______________________________________________


My group is studying the: (circle one) Skis Sled Bike Wagon

When the rider held the moving thing and stood on the scale it showed they weighed ____________ pounds.

The parts of our moving thing touching the big graph paper filled ____________ number of squares.



It traveled this far down the hill: 1st try: _______________ feet 2nd try: _______________ feet 3rd try: _______________ feet

What happened?



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