Making Objects Move

Type Category
Instructional Materials
Lesson/Lesson Plan
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.



In this lesson students identify ways to make objects move and construct a structure that can be used to move an object from one place to another.

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Early Elementary
Access Restrictions

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

Performance Expectations

K-PS2-1 Plan and conduct an investigation to compare the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object

Clarification Statement: Examples of pushes or pulls could include a string attached to an object being pulled, a person pushing an object, a person stopping a rolling ball, and two objects colliding and pushing on each other.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to different relative strengths or different directions, but not both at the same time. Assessment does not include non-contact pushes or pulls such as those produced by magnets.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
In the first part of this lesson students investigate how to move a ping pong ball from one location to another. After a class discussion about the motion of the ball using pushes and pulls, students are challenged to create a track to move an object (ball, toy car, marble, etc) to a certain point. When keeping data on the provided sheet (Making it Move) kindergarten students will need assistance from an adult or older student when completing the page.

Science and Engineering Practices

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

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
During the lesson students record the results of their investigation of the motion of the ping pong ball and the object being used on the track. They record their results as a class and on a data sheet. Having the students discuss and record their results as a class and on a data sheet, allows students to realize all the possible ways to make the objects move. By analyzing the data they can determine how they need to change the push and/or pull to move the ping ball or object on the track to get it to the location it needs to be at. Students should be given many opportunities to test and retest their ideas.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
During the investigation of moving the ping pong ball and track object students will observe how pushes and pulls can have different strengths and directions. Be sure to ask questions listed in the lesson during the discussion times to gain information about student understanding of the push and pull concept. If students are not understanding the concept give them more time to explore with the ping pong ball or give them another object to investigate.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Students are testing their knowledge about the motion of objects to gather evidence to support their ideas.The tests will help them understand that the position and motion of objects can be changed by pushing or pulling and that the size of the change is related to the strength of the push or pull. The other challenges listed in the lesson could be done at a science center after this lesson is completed.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: All three dimensions of the NGSS are being used in this lesson to have kindergarten students make sense of how objects are moved using push and pull. The focus of the lesson is to support students so they may solve problems or challenges they are given during their investigations. This lesson should be part of a unit for students to understand how objects move.

  • Instructional Supports: There is background given to help the teacher with this lesson. Students are engaged and working in small groups so they can express, clarify, justify, interpret, and represent their ideas and to respond to peer and teacher feedback orally and/or in written form as appropriate. During the discussion times the teacher could ask about things they see in daily life that are pushed or pulled or go on a walk around the school to see this.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: Students are keeping data sheets and the teacher is creating a chart with information during discussions. Students are also drawing and writing about the track structure they created. To assess students individually the teacher could have students make an entry in a science journal drawing and describing their favorite part of the ping pong ball or track investigation.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: - none -