Push Pull-Changing Direction

Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Lesson/Lesson Plan , Activity
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.



Students will investigate the interactions between colliding objects using pushes and pulls. After listening to the book, Push and Pull by Charlotte Guillian, students will play a game of kickball and observe how the ball is pushed, pulled, started, stopped, collided with other objects and how it changed position and speed. As a group, students will then brainstorm about other objects being pushed, pulled or colliding and choose one of those objects to investigate. This lesson is Lesson 4 in a unit based on this Performance Expectation and items not addressed in this lesson are addressed in other lessons.

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Kindergarten
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
After hearing the story, playing kickball, and observing teacher demonstrations of how an object can be pushed and pulled students will plan and conduct their own investigation about pushes and pulls with objects. The teacher should model how to design an investigation which includes collecting and recording data.

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
This activity may take several days to complete. During the Elaborate section of the lesson when students are planning and conducting an investigation have them work with a partner or in a small group to collaborate with peers. Students should share their investigations with the whole class when completed.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

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

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
When students are pushing the ball in a circle during the Engage section and playing kickball during the Explore section of the lesson make sure you discuss how pushing the ball can change the speed or direction of its motion and can start it.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource was not designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
The activity does not say students should design simple tests, but that could occur when the investigations are done during the Elaborate section of the lesson. They are asked to record data and make conclusions and that could be done after conducting simple tests.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: Elements of the disciplinary core and practice are significantly addressed. The element of crosscutting concepts is somewhat addressed. Elements of the practice, crosscutting concepts, and the core ideas blend and work together to make sense of phenomena or problems.

  • Instructional Supports: The activity provides instructional supports throughout it. Students are engaged while investigating and asking and answering questions to clarify their learning. The activity is scaffolding and builds on what students already know to lead them to deeper understanding of the core ideas, crosscutting concepts, and practices. The activity does not provide guidance to support differentiated instruction in the classroom so that every student's needs are addressed.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: The teacher is observing and asking questions of the students to determine their learning and offer feedback to them. This could be made more explicit through use of student “Push-Pull” journals.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: There is no technological interactivity required in this activity.