In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about mass, weight and gravity. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Gravity topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching About Gravity
Remind students that there is very little gravity in space. Astronauts are weightless and float. What might life be like for astronauts in space? Have students research to find out how astronauts eat, sleep, and even go to the bathroom and shower in space. How do they adjust to life with very little gravity? Have students look up information online or at the library. They may want to write a report or a diary entry about what life might be like if they were an astronaut in space.
Weight For Me
Have students find out the masses of different bodies in our Solar System, such as Earth, the Moon, Jupiter, and Pluto. Help students order the bodies from least to greatest mass. Then, as a math activity, have students weigh different objects on a scale. Afterward, have them find out how much the objects would weigh if they were on the Moon or on other bodies in our Solar System. There are free calculators online that can help them with this portion of the activity. Guide children to understanding that planets with greater masses have stronger forces of gravity.
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching About Gravity
Tower of Power
Help your child understand that Earth’s gravity pulls everything downward. Then have him or her look at different skyscrapers online to observe their shapes. How can tall buildings stay up without toppling over? Challenge your child to stack blocks as high as he or she can. You child may want to stack blocks in different ways and experiment with shape and center of gravity. How high can your child stack the blocks until they fall down?
Demonstrate to your child how gravity pulls all objects downward. Air pushes against objects in different ways to change the way they fall. Hold up a sheet of paper and a crumpled ball of paper and drop them both at the same time. What happens? Explain to your child that each piece of paper has the same mass, but their shapes cause them to fall in different ways. Experiment with different shapes of paper and compare how they fall. During the experiments, encourage your child to take notes or draw pictures or even record video.