Here you will find all of the work we have done on our unit covering Forces Causing Movement.  I will try to include a brief explanation of the lesson, as well as any worksheets we have used.
 

Lesson 1

Forces

 

 

We started our unit by discussing that a force is something that can cause movement.  Then, with partners, students sat down and looked at a series of pictures in which there were many actions occurring.  After examining the pictures, and looking at all of the forces, students discussed the question "What exactly is a force?"  Students then recorded questions they had about forces on a worksheet.

Pictures               Worksheet

 

Lesson 2

Push and Pull

 

 

 

A block was placed on a desk, and a question posed:  "How can we move this block without it leaving the desk?"  We discussed many options, and came to a conclusion that in each case we were either pushing or pulling the block (or a tool touching the block) to make it move.  We read a little about using pushes and pulls to move (or attempt to move) objects, and then looked back at the picture from out previous lesson.  Using a T-chart we located and listed push and pull forces.  The definitions of "force" and "movement" were added to the back of our worksheet.

Worksheet              Answers

 

Lesson 3

Types of Forces

 

 

We started this lesson by reading, then discussing, information about different types of forces (see worksheet).  We then used this information to label the forces on our worksheet from last lesson as being "gravity", "buoyancy", "friction" or "muscular force."  When that was complete students answered some questions about forces.

Worksheet              Answers

 

Lesson 4

Examples of Forces

 

 

 

For this lesson we took a walk around the school.  As we walked we carried an observation table and recorded forces that we saw.  We stopped to observe forces at the playground, in the gym, in a classroom and at the office.  All of the forces that we saw were classified in our table.  When we returned to class the students answered some questions, and then as a class we discussed our findings.  The main discovery is that there is always more than one force acting.

Worksheet

 

Lesson 5

Forces that Push and Pull

 

 

 

To start today's lesson we sorted the forces we have been studying into pull forces and push forces.  In doing so we again noticed that some forces can push or pull.  We then introduced two new forces, magnetism and static electric force.  After discussing these forces we learned that magnets push away when the poles (ends of the magnets) are the same and pull when their poles are different.  We also learned that when two objects have the same charge they repel one another, but when they have opposite charge they attract.  During the rest of class the students completed a study sheet for their quiz coming up two classes from now.

Worksheet              Answers

 

Lesson 6

Magnetism

 

 

Today was our first experiment.  The task involved separating paper clips from a variety of other items.  Full details for the experiment can be seen on the lab sheet.  Each lab pair also had the opportunity to sit down with me, just the three of us, to get a chance to discuss magnets and feel the forces within magnets (ask your kids about this, they loved doing this part).  Students were reminded that they will be writing a quiz next class.

Worksheet

 

Lesson 7

Forces Quiz

 

The first thing we did in class the period was to write our forces quiz.  Following that we continued work on our magnetism lab, working on our write-up.  I also finished meeting with the remaining students who did not get a chance to talk to me alone last class.

 

Lesson 8

The Affects of Forces

 

 

To start today's lesson we reviewed that a force was a push or pull that could cause movement, and that movement was when an object, or part of an object changes location.  We then discussed that forces do not just cause movement in a line.  Using toys we showed that forces can cause a change of speed, change of direction or a change of shape.  We then used toy cars and play clay to experiment with these concepts.

Worksheet              Answers

 

Lesson 9

Gravity and Muscular Force Experiments

 

 

 

Today's activity was to investigate gravitational force and muscular force.  The first part, studying gravity, was a teacher demonstration.  The activity involved dropping three different size balls from the playground.  First we made a hypothesis about which ball would fall the fastest, and then we tested.  Each ball was dropped from the playground, then combinations of balls were dropped together.  What did we discover?  You will have to ask you grade 3 student.  The next activity was to test muscular force.  Each group of students used the same three balls from the previous activity, but this time we measured how far we could throw them across the field.  We then compared our results to our hypothesis.

Worksheet

 

Lesson 10

Balanced vs Unbalanced Forces

 

 

 

 

We started today by reviewing the fact that there is almost always more than one force acting on an object (example, dropping a ball - gravity and wind resistance [friction]).  We then discussed the meaning of the work "balanced" and contrasted this with "unbalanced."  We talked about balancing forces - when two forces push in opposite directions with the same strength (balanced), then there is no movement.  When the forces are different strengths (unbalanced) there is movement.  We followed this by looking at two pictures of a canoe.  We documented the differences in the pictures that were caused by changing forces.

Worksheet

 

Lesson 11

Using a Balance

 

 

After reviewing the concept of balanced vs unbalanced, today we learned how to use a balance.  We were shown how a balance works, and then we were given multiple objects to work with.  First we sorted the objects from lightest to heaviest.  Our second task was to us the balance to determine weight ratios of one object to another.

Worksheet              Answers

 

Lesson 12

Speed and Direction

Contact vs No Contact

 

 

There were two concepts we were looking at today.  The first was to understand direction (the way things are moving) and speed (how fast something is moving).  The second was to understand that some forces require objects to be in contact, while others do not need contact.  We used Simon says as a way to talk about direction and speed words.

Worksheet              Answers

 

Lesson 13

Slowing Movement

 

 

 

 

This lesson is a four period project.  The main idea was to design and build an tool to slow down the speed of a dropping ball.  On Day 1 we discussed the project as a whole.  We then timed how long it takes for our ball to drop from a specified height.  On day 2 we got together with a partner to design something, using common craft supplies and other basic items, that we could attach to the ball to slow it down as it dropped to the floor.  Day 3 was used to build our tool.  Finally, on day 4 we retested the ball drop, this time we attached our design to the ball.  We also had a series of questions we needed to answer about the experiment.

Worksheet              Answers

 

Lesson 14

Friction

 

 

 

 

We started today by reviewing the concept of friction - a force that occurs due to surfaces rubbing together.  We talked about different surfaces being able to apply more or less friction, depending on how smooth or rough they are.  Our next step was to feel a variety of surfaces (paper, cardboard, even a kitchen tile).  We sorted these surfaces into smooth and rough surfaces.  We then looked at sandpaper, and discovered that roughness is relative.  Some sandpaper is much more smooth than other sandpaper.  We sanded down a pencil to show the difference these different sandpapers can make.  Then, it was time to explore.  we each got a magnifying glass and started looking at the surfaces we had just talked about.  We then looked at other surfaces around the room.

 

Lesson 15

Increase/Decrease Friction

 

 

Today we continued discussing friction.  We started by reading a little bit of information on our worksheet, and then discussed the idea that we need to control friction in some instances to make things work, or to make things more safe.  We talked about the task on our worksheet (finding cases when we need to increase or decrease friction).  We then did an example and started filling in our own ideas.

Worksheet              Answers

 

Lesson 16

Safety Devices

 

 

 

 

At the start of class we did a demonstration with a toy car and toy person.  The demonstration involved showing the person riding on the car, then we stopped the car and watched what happened to the person.  This led us to the scientific law that states "objects in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by a force."  Basically there was no force to stop the man from moving, so he flew off of the car (which was stopped by a force).  We then talked about how engineers design safety devices to keep us safe in situations like this.  On our worksheet we were shown six pictures.  We then talked about the movement that had to be stopped and the force that was acting in the picture.

Worksheet              Answers

 

Lesson 17

Forces in Nature

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our class today was to do a webquest, which is an online activity that allows students to read and explore about a topic through a webpage that has been organized by a teacher.  The webquest we did was about forces in nature.  Specifically, we looked at erosion, landslides, lightning and tidal waves.  We read about each, looked at some pictures, had the opportunity to read a news article and watch a video.  In total our webquest is a three day lesson, at the end of which we answer questions about one of the topics of our choosing.

Webquest

At the end of class today we were told that we will be writing a test next week.  We were given a review sheet with all of the things that we have learned about forces.

Review

 

Lesson 18

Review

 

We used today's class to review all of our work from this unit.  We revisited each of the worksheets we have done, discussing the key learning and answers for each.

 

Lesson 19

Unit Test

 

Today is our last forces lesson.  Today we will show that we are forces experts.  We used today's period to write our end of unit test.

 

   
This concludes our unit on Forces.  Our next unit is Soils in the Environment.