MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection > MnSTEP Activities > Physics Motion Activities for Second Grade

Physics Motion Activities for Second Grade

Kari Johnsrud
Madison Elementary School
Winona, MN
Adapted from original activities described in On the Move by Wendy Madgwick, p.8-9
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Summary

Students will observe and discuss motion in learning stations or in demonstration. They will observe and discuss how a push or pull affects motion.

Learning Goals

Students will explain one type of force as a pull and another type of force as a push.

Vocabulary:

-Motion
-Push
-Pull
-Force
-Gravity
-Direction

Context for Use

Grade 2
Classroom setting - small and/or whole group
About 45 minutes

Materials needed:

-Toy truck
-Rubber band
-Ruler
-Toy blocks
-Cardboard tube
-A few thick books
-Small ball

Subject: Physics:Classical Mechanics
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity
Grade Level: Primary (K-2)

Description and Teaching Materials

1.
Introduce lesson by reading "And Everyone Shouted, 'Pull!'": A First Look at Forces and Motion by Claire Llewellyn, Picture Window Books, 2005. Ask why the cart is not floating in the air. Use the students' answers to help explain that a force (gravity) is pulling the cart down. Ask what forces were used in the book when the cart moved (push and pull). Remind students that a force was needed in order for the cart to move. Discuss that it also took a force to change the cart's direction.

The following is adapted from original activities described in "On the Move" by Wendy Madgwick p.8-9, Steck-Vaughn, 1999.

2. PULL
To show force starts objects moving, demonstrate or have examples available at a central location during this activity:
-Attach a rubber band to the front bumper of a toy truck. Put a ruler on the floor beside and in front of the truck.
-Pull the rubber band until the truck starts to move. Note on the ruler how far the rubber band has stretched.
-Repeat the activity this time adding blocks (weight) to the truck. Compare the length of the rubber band stretches and help the students conclude that heavier objects need more force to start them moving.

3. PUSH
To show force starts objects moving, demonstrate or have available at a center this activity:
- Place one end of a cardboard tube on a stack of thick books. Place the back of the toy truck at the lower end of the tube.
-Put a ruler on the floor beside and in front of the truck. Roll a small ball down the tube so it hits the truck. Measure how far the truck moves.
-Repeat the activity, this time adding blocks (weight) to the truck. Compare the distances and help the students conclude that if the pushing force is the same, the weight of the truck changes the distance it will travel.

4.
Conclude the activity with the assessment that follows.

Teaching Notes and Tips

Discussion should take place throughout the story and experiments. Students should have the opportunity to make hypotheses and observe what takes place. When the truck is not moving, all forces are in balance. When a push or pull is added, the forces are unbalanced and the truck is set in motion and will keep in motion (inertia).
Motion has not been a part of our second grade science. The amount of time needed and setting for the lesson (centers, small group or whole group) may need to be modified.

Assessment

-Observation of students.
-Students will list in their journal two forces that move the truck and write at least one sentence telling about what they learned from the activity.

Standards

2.II.D. The student will know that objects move in various ways. 2. The student will observe that push and pull forces can make objects move.

References and Resources