Sunday Science - Gravity

We had our first Fun With Forces class.  There were six students ranging in age from 4-7.  Our topic of the week was Gravity.  It was a neat experience for me to have a 7 year old since he was so much more knowledgeable than the little ones. 

The idea and overview for the activities came from Teaching Physics With Toys.   I learned from this lesson that the listed time in text is not accurate and even with the extensions I needed more activities.  I think part of the reason this class went so fast is that it was very basic and introductory going over concepts that the kids already had at least somewhat of an understanding.
We started by pushing and pulling a chair across the room. The children were easily able to see the force that made the chair move. 
 
We also tried pushing the wall but they could easily see that sometimes the force is not enough to move something.  We even talked about why exactly the wall was so hard to move.
 
We progressed to dropping bean bags. We dropped them to see what happened. We ran several trials to see if anything changed.  We switched bags to see if that made any difference.  Then I asked the kids what made the bean bags move. They identified the force as gravity. 





We then went over the sink and watched and felt gravity in action again.  I filled the sink about half full then pulled the plug.  When I could get the kids to wait a moment before sticking their hands in to feel the pull they were actually able to see the vortex.  I think this was their favorite part of the whole class.  We filled and emptied the sink over and over again so everyone could see and touch. 

At the end we played a game with forces.  We did it as a competition to start.  Try to push palm to palm such that your force your opponent to take a step.  That was fun and easy. Then we made it more challenging.  Try now to work as a team and push but make it balanced so that you are both pushing in evenly and no one needs to move. 

At home with Froggy, I also read some fun books about gravity.  We read Chicken Little and Gravity Works.  

For more fun with science, check out this week's Science Sunday link-up, at Adventures in Mommydom.

Comments

  1. That is a difficulty when your planned lesson doesn't take as much time as you expect. It takes a while to figure out the exactly right amount of time.

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  2. Sounds wonderful! How do you find the other kids to participate in the classes? Also, where do you hold the classes? I'd love to hear more about the process of setting up a coop like this!

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  3. Sounds like it was a fun and informative class!

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