Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Forces Lesson Plan

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Forces, and supports the standard of providing evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Put a tennis ball and a ping pong ball on a flat surface. Ask students:

  • What do you predict will happen if I push both balls with the same force? 
  • Which ball do you think will go further? Why do you think this?

Push the balls with the same force. Ask students:

  •  Were your predictions correct? 
  • What other forces, besides your push, are acting on the balls? 

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read the description on the Forces topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the three Related Reading articles. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: ENGAGE 

Students express what they learned about forces while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Imagine you are a sportscaster. Explain how different forces impact a baseball’s movement when a player hits a home run. (Essential Literacy Skill: Determine central ideas)
  • Make-a-Map: Compare and contrast the forces that impact  riding a bike uphill, downhill, and on a flat surface.  (Essential  Literacy Skill: Summarize key details)
  • Creative Coding: Code a game challenging players to sort examples by balanced or unbalanced forces. (Essential Skill: Acquire and use domain specific words and phrases)
  • Primary Source Activity: Analyze video footage of a roller coaster in motion, and cite evidence to answer the questions. (Essential Literacy Skill: Essential Literacy Skill: Cite specific evidence to support conclusions drawn)

Step 4: APPLY & ASSESS 

Apply: Students take the Forces Challenge, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Forces Quiz.

Step 5:  EXTEND LEARNING

Balancing Act Simulation: Experiment with forces in this interactive simulation.

Hot Air Balloon Game: Students use what they know about forces  to keep a hot air balloon flying as long as possible. 

Additional Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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