One of the Virginia science standards is all about force and motion. Some of the concepts students will study as part of these force and motion lesson plans include—
- defining kinetic energy
- describing motion and changes in motion
- explaining what happens when objects collide
- explaining the relationship between mass and motion
- describing friction
If you’re looking for ways to turn these science concepts into engaging lessons, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s explore ways to make your force and motion lessons memorable!
Force and Motion Experiments
One of the easiest ways to increase student engagement throughout your force and motion lesson plans is with experiments. There are many low-prep experiments you can use to help students retain what they need to know about this science SOL.
Cars and Ramps
If you have a toy car, some textbooks, and a flat board – there are endless possibilities for force and motion experiments. Simply stack a few textbooks and lay the flat board across diagonally to create a ramp. Release the car from the top of the ramp to experiment with motion.
A few experiments include:
- Increase the ramp height by adding an additional textbook before each trial. Encourage students to investigate how the motion (direction and speed) changes as the ramp height increases.
- Release cars (or other objects such as balls) with different masses down the ramp to explore how mass affects motion.
One of my favorite car and ramp experiments involves placing different surfaces at the bottom of the ramp such as tile, carpet, sandpaper, etc. at the start of each trial. This allows students to investigate how friction affects the motion of the car.
May the Force Be With You
If you want to take a break from the traditional car and ramp experiments, you can engage students by incorporating Star Wars into your force and motion lesson plans!
One of my students’ favorite activities is to make blasters using cups and balloons. Then, I place a ball on a cone in the middle of the room. We name the ball the “Death Star.” Students experiment with launching different objects from the blaster to destroy the Death Star by knocking it off the cone.
You can learn more about this fun science experiment and find worksheets to implement the activity in my Force and Motion Unit Plans.
Force and Motion Escape Room
The Force and Motion SOL requires students to define and explain several concepts. I have students explore important terms and concepts with an escape room.
In my Force and Motion Escape Room, students find themselves trapped! The only way to escape is for students to successfully complete six challenges that require them to use critical thinking skills as they review concepts related to force and motion.
Some of the activities include:
- using coordinates to review vocabulary and solve riddles
- analyzing a graph to answer questions and create a code
- identifying true statements about force and motion
- solving math problems to find a code
- decoding information about force and motion
- finding science terms to complete sentences
Science escape rooms are a fun way to get students up and moving. Usually, they are having so much fun that they forget that they are learning. Don’t believe me? Check out what another teacher said about using my science escape rooms:
“These [science escape rooms] were so fun! My students enjoyed using these and didn’t even realize they were reviewing for their SOLs. I also loved how at the end, the “You Escaped” letter was like a mini study guide. I laminated these so I can use them year after year. Thanks for a thoughtful and engaging activity!” – Jenny M.
You can learn more about this Force and Motion Escape Room HERE.
Force and Motion Review Activities
Any good science unit needs to end with engaging review activities. Here are a few of my favorites to add to your force and motion lesson plans.
Science Jeopardy Game
Jeopardy games are a fun, no-prep way to review information. You can have students play independently or in teams. Students love using my Force and Motion Jeopardy Game at the end of the unit or before state testing.
The Jeopardy game features five categories, totaling 25 questions. The presentation is coded so that students can easily navigate between the category board, questions, and answers. They can also type points into a scoreboard, even when in presentation mode. My Force and Motion Jeopardy Game comes with two versions—one for PowerPoint and one for Google Slides. You can find the game HERE.
The following video is a short tutorial that shows how my science Jeopardy games work.
Force and Motion Task Cards
When I am short on time and need to throw together a quick review activity, task cards are my go-to. I love task cards because they require zero prep time. Students never seem to get tired of reviewing with task cards because there are so many games you can play with them. You can see a few of my favorite task card games in this video.
My Force and Motion Task Cards come with 28 task cards that model the types of questions that students may see on the science SOL test. The resource includes a PDF version and a self-checking, digital version for Google Forms. You can find the task cards HERE.
Force and Motion Study Guide
Study guides are a helpful tool when preparing for a unit test or the science SOL test. Not only do they allow students to review for their tests independently, but they also give parents something to use when helping their children study at home.
I prefer for my study guides to be interactive, so my Force and Motion Study Guide resource includes a partially completed study guide (for students to complete) and a worksheet with comprehension questions.
But, if you prefer to just send a completed study guide home… no worries! The resource also includes a completed study guide.
You can learn more about my Force and Motion Study Guide HERE.
If want to make your force and motion lesson plans more engaging but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place!
There are countless fun experiments, games, and review activities that you can use to get your students excited about force and motion. In addition to the experiments and models I have shared here, you can find even more engaging ideas in my detailed force and motion lesson plans. This unit provides step-by-step instructions for teaching each lesson, worksheets, experiments, digital activities, assessments, and word wall cards.
I also have lots of fun force and motion review activities in my store including an escape room, a Jeopardy game, task cards, and a study guide.
Now, let’s go make your force and motion unit amazing… may the force be with you!