Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, K-3
In this physics for kids lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades K-5, students use an online game to explore advanced physics concepts such as force magnitude, force direction, friction, mass, gravity, and slope.
- Share what they know and what to know about gravity and forces.
- Use an online game to explore advanced physics concepts such as force magnitude, force direction, friction, mass, gravity, and slope.
- Explain what they learned about gravity and forces through game play.
- Computers with internet access for BrainPOP
Preparation:This lesson plan utilizes a free online science game called Go Vector Go. We recommend previewing the game prior to introducing it to your class.
- Show the Belly Up Comic to open up a class discussion about gravity and forces.
- Project the Talk About It activity for the class to see, and fill out the left column with information that students already know about the topic. Then have students suggest things they'd like to learn about gravity and forces, and type their questions into the center column.
- Play either the BrainPOP Gravity movie or the BrainPOP Jr. Gravity movie, depending on your students' needs and abilities. You might also find it helpful to show the BrainPOP Force movie or the BrainPOP Acceleration movie.
- Ask students if they would like to add anything to the "what I learned" column of the chart, and type in their responses.
- Tell students they will have the opportunity to learn more about gravity, forces, and acceleration through a game. Project the Go Vector Go game. After clicking on Start and choosing the first level of game play, you may want to click on the question mark button to review game controls and the objectives of game play.
- Demonstrate game play yourself, modeling your thinking process as you experiment with various strategies for getting Vector the train to the station. Have student volunteers help you make choices and explain why they think certain strategies will or will not work.
- Pair students up and allow them to explore the game with a partner. Help facilitate students' conversations around the physics principles they observe. You may want to introduce terms such as force magnitude and direction, mass, slope, and/or friction as students describe what they notice.
- Revisit the initial Talk About It activity and type in students' responses about what they now know about gravity and forces. You may want to use the game quiz as an additional, individual assessment component.