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Observing/Describing Position

Observing/Describing Position

TEKS Objective

Students will trace the changes in the position of an object over time such as a cup rolling on the floor and a car rolling down a ramp.

Essential Understanding

The student knows that forces cause change and energy exists in many forms.

Science Background

Galileo Drops the Ball: Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development (website) - What would drop faster, a feather or a cannonball? How about a large cannonball versus a small one? Use this fun, interactive website to simulate the test. You even can switch from Normal to Vacuum Mode, to run the test where there is no air.

Galileo Drops the Ball
Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development,

Work, Energy, and Power: The Physics Classroom (website) - This online tutorial, focusing on the relationship between energy and motion, was written for high school physics students, but is a great resource for teachers.

Work, Energy, and Power
The Physics Classroom,

The Force Be with You! Prince Edward Island (CA) Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (website) - Introduction to the concept of force, different types of force, the effects of different forces on Earth, and related topics. Content is appropriate for teachers and/or students.

The Force Be with You!
Prince Edward Island (CA) Department of Education and Early Childhood Development,

Force Affects Motion: School for Champions (website) - Helpful explanation of how force affects motion, including references to “push,” “pull,” “gravity,” “friction,” and “magnetism.”

Force Affects Motion
School for Champions,


Signature Lesson

Making Objects Move: Science NetLinks (website) - Students identify ways to make objects move and then build a structure that can be used to move an object from one place to another.

Making Objects Move
Science NetLinks,

Supporting Lessons

Ramps 1, Let it Roll: Science NetLinks (website) - Students explore and measure the rate at which spherical objects roll down a ramp.

Ramps 1, Let it Roll
Science NetLinks,

Ramps 2, Ramp Builder: Science NetLinks (website) - Students to plan, build and test ramps that allow rolling objects to travel long distances.

Ramps 2, Ramp Builder
Science NetLinks,

Elaboration Lessons and Extensions

Falling for Gravity: Science NetLinks (website) – Students will observe different objects fall from the same height to see if they reach the ground at the same time. They will also roll marbles of different sizes down an inclined plane to see if they reach the bottom at the same time.

Falling for Gravity
Science NetLinks,

Assessment Ideas

Challenge students to devise as many ways as possible to move a heavy object (thick book) from one place to another. Provide different tools for students to employ in this task, such as a wagon, pulleys, wheels, tubes, string, sticks, etc.

Literature Connections

Forces and Motion. Silverstein, A. (ISBN-13: 978-0822575146)

A Crash Course in Forces and Motion with Max Axiom, Super Scientist. Sohn, Emily (ISBN-13: 978-0736868372)

Isaac Newton and the Laws of Motion. Gianopoulo, Andrea (ISBN-13: 978-0736868471)

And Everybody Shouted, “Pull!” Llewellyn, Claire (ISBN-13: 978-1404806566)

Motion: Push and Pull, Fast and Slow. Stille, Darlene (ISBN-13: 978-1404803480)

Related Science TEKS

(2.1A) Science Safety
The student is expected to identify and demonstrate safe practices as described in the Texas Safety Standards during classroom and outdoor investigations, including wearing safety goggles, washing hands, and using materials appropriately.

(2.1B) Importance of Safe Practices
The student is expected to describe the importance of safe practices.

(2.1C) Recycling/disposal of Science Materials
The student is expected to identify and demonstrate how to use, conserve, and dispose of natural resources and materials such as conserving water and reuse or recycling of paper, plastic, and metal.

(2.2A) Ask Questions
The student is expected to ask questions about organisms, objects, and events during observations and investigations.

(2.2B) Plan and Conduct Descriptive Investigation
The student is expected to plan and conduct descriptive investigations such as how organisms grow.

(2.2C) Collect Data
The student is expected to collect data from observations using simple equipment such as hand lenses, primary balances, thermometers, and non-standard measurement tools.

(2.2D) Record and Organize Data & Observations
The student is expected to record and organize data using pictures, numbers, and words.

(2.2E) Communicate and Justify Explanations
The student is expected to communicate observations and justify explanations using student-generated data from simple descriptive investigations.

(2.2F) Comparing Results of Investigations
The student is expected to compare results of investigations with what students and scientists know about the world.

(2.3B) Make Predictions
The student is expected to make predictions based on observable patterns.

Related Math TEKS

2.12D  The student is expected to use tools such as real objects, manipulatives, and technology to solve problems.

2.13A  The student is expected to explain and record observations using objects, words, pictures, numbers, and technology.

Additional Resources

The Constant Pull of Gravity, How Does It Work? NASA (website) - Video illustrates the critical role that gravity plays in many aspects of everyday life.

The Constant Pull of Gravity, How Does It Work?

Forces and Magnets: Science Zone (website) – Basic facts about forces, with links to interactive animations and games that teach students different concepts related to force.

Forces and Magnets
Science Zone,

Force: Songs for Teaching (website) - Have fun teaching about forces by leading the class in a “sing-along.”

Songs for Teaching,

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