19 Fun Ideas & Resources for Force and Motion

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Teach force and motion with style by using experiments  free printables and resources that will help bring science concepts alive. This collection of force and motion ideas should help you cover the topics of texture, gravity, incline and some simple machines. If you’re looking for fun ideas, then this is the place to start!

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Ideas to Experiment with Force and Motion

Teach Junkie: 19 Fun Ideas and Resources to Teach Force and Motion

source: librarianismchronicles.blogspot.com

1. Angle Height and Track Texture – Use basic classroom materials like books to experiment on angle height (incline) to work on developing predictions. Use the same experiment set up to change the variable of ramp texture to experiment with friction.

2. Elementary Exploration: Friction – Using rulers, a wood block and a few materials, you can create a similar experiment to above to see how students can compare what they’ve learned about friction using a car and texture and apply it to this situation. Using rulers will allow students to share accurate measurements for their incline. {Free download}

Teach Junkie: 19 Fun Ideas and Resources to Teach Force and Motion

source:mrsmathes.blogspot.com

3. Incline Marble Races – To create some basic concepts about the way incline effects the way things move, try creating some marble races. Allow students to experiment and record their findings using simple materials and varying heights using objects like a bookshelf.

4. Forces in Action: Play – This interactive website will recreate a similar set of experiments virtually and allow students to adjust the incline and add parachutes to add drag. What concepts can students solidify using the included table based on their virtual experiments? Great for a smartboard whole group activity too.

Teach Junkie: 19 Fun Ideas and Resources to Teach Force and Motion

source:mrsmyerskindergarten.blogspot.com

5. Car Ramps – Here is an example of creating experiments that face multiple problems and allowing students time to come up with solutions. This is a more exploratory way of approaching it, but a good introduction to understanding more about the way things move on an incline.

6. Forces in Action: Lesson Plan – This lesson hits four objectives that includes understanding that friction (including air resistance) is a force that slows moving objects. Works beautifully along with the interactive site listed above in number 4.

Teach Junkie: 19 Fun Ideas and Resources to Teach Force and Motion

source: tekyteach.blogspot.com

7. Marshmallow Shooter – When you’re discussing push and pull as forces and including measurement you’ll want to include marshmallow shooters in your lesson plans. You’ll end up including words like force, distance and finding ways to measure.

Teach Junkie: 19 Fun Ideas and Resources to Teach Force and Motion

source: housingaforest.com

8. Leprechaun Balloon Races – This would be a fun experiment when trying to explore the friction of a different surface – string and explore the friction of air. What types of force can a balloon which also has air create? Can you see students getting into the force and motion of this?

Teach Junkie: 19 Fun Ideas and Resources to Teach Force and Motion

source: eia.gov

9. A Slide is a Simple Machine – What school playground is complete without a slide? Break your science class outdoors to discuss and explore how a slide works like a simple machine. This will help explore the concepts that incline planes make it easier to lift things and that machines make work easier. {Free download}

10. Simple Machines: Lever – Here’s another idea that break out onto the playgound to explore the concept of using simple machines to explore force and motion. Begin by exploring a see saw and then create your own levers with pencils, pennies tape and a ruler. {Free download}

Free Resources for Force and Motion

Teach Junkie: 19 Fun Ideas and Resources to Teach Force and Motion

source: 3teacherchicks.blogspot.com

11. Mouse Trap Trials – Here is a great culminating activity for students to use when wrapping up a force and motion unit. Have students create their own mouse trap! Using household “junk” see what types of fast moving creations can they create using what they’ve learned about motion, force and friction. {Free downloads}

Teach Junkie: 19 Fun Ideas and Resources to Teach Force and Motion

source: ideasbyjivey.blogspot.com

12. Force and Motion (Pre/Post)Assessment – Here is a one page activity that you could use in order to see where your students are at or to give at the end of a unit to cover vocabulary and basic concepts of force and motion. {Free download}

Teach Junkie: 19 Fun Ideas and Resources to Teach Force and Motion

source: sparklebox.co.uk

13. Force and Motion Posters – You’ll find word cards that will be great for a word wall, a display banner, a movement word reference mat and 6 types of forces posters. {Free downloads}

14. Forces in Action Worksheet – Here is a worksheet to practice naming forces like gravity, lift, pushing and pulling. You’ll also be able to practice showing how forces act and students can create their own illustration examples. {Free download}

Songs to Teach Force and Motion

Teach Junkie: 19 Fun Ideas and Resources to Teach Force and Motion

source: kidsknowit.com

15. The Gravity Song – Who doesn’t love using a song to help teach a concept. This song won’t have them rappin’ but it will help explore the concept of gravity and help embed some vocabulary just from listening once.

Teach Junkie: 19 Fun Ideas and Resources to Teach Force and Motion

source: kidsknowit.com

16. What is Friction – This song will remind you of what you listened to when you were in school, but it does a good job of helping lay down some basic examples of friction and vocabulary.

Books to Teach Force and Motion

Teach Junkie: 19 Fun Ideas and Resources to Teach Force and Motion

17. Forces Make Things Move – This book illustrates examples of the forces all around students during a normal day. It helps give names to those forces and are easy to act out within the classroom.

Teach Junkie: 19 Fun Ideas and Resources to Teach Force and Motion

18. Forces and Motion: From High-speed Jets to Wind-up Toys – This book is better suited for third grade and up, but it is a great resource with 20 activities that you can guide students through with ease to develop some basic and solid concepts.

Teach Junkie: 19 Fun Ideas and Resources to Teach Force and Motion

19. And Everyone Shouted, “Pull” – A fun way to bring in a fiction piece into exploring push and pull, join with these farm animals as they venture to market. Great for elementary grades.

I hope you can draw inspiration or use some of these ideas the next time you are teaching force and motion. Is it too corny to say something like ‘May the force be with you’ as you teach this concept? {ha!} Want me to collect a different set of science resources for you? Be sure to let me know on our facebook page.

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Teach Junkie
Leslie {aka the original Teach Junkie} is a full time teacher who enjoys collaboration, improving her own teaching and learning new tips from others. She teaches in the public school system and enjoys writing about her classroom activities, teaching philosophies and integrating standards. Google+
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