# Investigating Motion: What Causes Objects to Move?

Contributor
Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College Mack, Jeanne
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Lesson/Lesson Plan , Experiment/Lab Activity
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

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## Description

In this lesson, students will be given a set of everyday objects and asked to make predictions on how far each object will move when they blow on it. They will then measure the distances the objects moved and record their data and observations in their science journals. The observations and/or measurements of the object’s motion will then be applied to provide evidence of a pattern that can be used to predict future motion.

Intended Audience

Educator
Educational Level
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

#### Performance Expectations

3-PS2-2 Make observations and/or measurements of an object’s motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion.

Clarification Statement: Examples of motion with a predictable pattern could include a child swinging in a swing, a ball rolling back and forth in a bowl, and two children on a see-saw.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include technical terms such as period and frequency.

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this performance expectation, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

In the anticipatory set, an awareness should develop that if the amount of force applied remains constant, the distance an object travels is contingent upon its mass. The effects of friction on the motion of these objects could also be tested. The amount of force applied is a variable that is difficult to control but provides for a teachable moment about the how variables in an investigation affect its outcome. Having the students blow through a straw is suggested to mitigate some the health concerns as a result of students blowing aggressively. Using a device such as a nasal nose aspirator would also address health concerns as well as provide some control with the amount of force applied. With these suggestions implemented, a pattern of observation and measurement should emerge as they proceed through the trials, and predictions about the future motion of objects should become increasingly accurate. Patterns in the observations and measurements can then be easily made explicit through a facilitated discussion.

#### Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

In this lesson, students will make observations and take measurements to produce data that will enable them to make evidence-based explanations of the phenomena. The data does not serve as a basis for evidence in testing a design solution as this is not an engineering challenge. To make this lesson more rigorous for third graders, students could plan a guided inquiry based on the wonderings they have after this initial investigation. For example, students might test the effects of increasing amounts of force or the effects of friction (which is an opposing force) on the motion of these objects. This could provide the opportunity for students to make predictions about its effect on distance traveled before testing. As students draw their conclusions, they could also be guided to cite specific data to support a claim that the evidence reveals a pattern which can be used to predict future motion.

#### Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

The inclusion of additional objects to this investigation selected by the students themselves may be helpful in providing additional evidence that there is a pattern in their observations and measurements. Predictions should be elicited, with further investigation conducted to test the validity of their predictions.

#### Crosscutting Concepts

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.