Beacon Lesson Plan Library
Newton in Motion!
DescriptionThis activity is an exciting way to introduce Newton's First Law of Motion. The student will be able to verbally explain and physically demonstrate examples of Newton's First Law. The students will explore real life consequences of Newton's First Law.
ObjectivesThe student understands that an object in motion will continue at a constant speed and in a straight line until acted upon by a force and that an object at rest will remain at rest until acted upon by a force.
Materials-Any Textbook (for prop in demonstration)
-Pencil or Pen
-Individual Student Materials for Demonstration (Student will gather these at their discretion, ie. A toy car could demonstrate Newton's First Law by crashing into a wall, A rolling ball could demonstrate Newton's First Law by changing direction when colliding with wall, etc.)
Preparations1. Gather materials as listed above.
2. Familiarize yourself with Newton's First Law. Thinking of additional examples you could offer to the class for greater understanding.
3. Have a textbook handy to use in demonstration (A heavier textbook creates a louder noise and gains attention better)
Procedures1. Ask the students what would happen if I held a textbook in the air and let it go. Would the textbook float in the air? Would the textbook fall to the ground? Would the textbook begin to fall and then stop in mid air and float?
2. Discuss all of these options and have the students explain reasons why some of these options make sense and some do not.
3. Hold a book in the air and let it go. Bam! What happened?
4. Leaving the textbook on the floor, ask the students where is the book going to go now? Can the book fall any further than the floor? Can the book get back up on the table? What are some ways that the book could get back on the table?
5. Discuss all of these options and have the students explain reasons why some of these options make sense and some do not.
6. Introduce Newton's First Law of Motion: "An object in motion will continue at a constant speed and in a straight line until acted upon by a force and that an object at rest will remain at rest until acted upon by a force."
7. Dissect Newton's First Law and have the students determine using the introduction example with the book falling, what was the object used (the textbook) and what was the force that acted on the object (the floor).
8. Further dissect Newton's First Law and have the students determine using the example of the textbook on the ground what would be the object (the textbook) and what would be the force (the floor is still a force, but in order to move the book to the table an additional force is required, such as a hand lifting it, etc.)
9. Have the student's pair into groups of four and come up with 3 examples of Newton's First Law that they can verbally explain and at least one example they can demonstrate to the class.
10. Remind students to determine the object and force in each example.
11. Have each group demonstrate their example of Newton's First Law to the class.
12. Engage the students in class discussion about Newton's First Law and the importance of this law in everyday life. Ask questions like:
-What do you think would happen if Newton's First Law did not exist?
-How would YOUR life be different?
-How would the world be different?
13. Allow students to write in journal about the discussion questions.
14. Formally assess student's oral presentations and journal entries providing positive and guiding feedback.
AssessmentsThe students will orally present examples of Newton's First Law using the real objects they have gathered.
The teacher will formatively assess oral presentation by looking for accurate representations of Newton's First Law.
Journal entries will explain Newton's First Law and its importance in everyday life.
The teacher will formatively assess journal entires looking for an accurate explaination of Newton's First Law and real world examples showing its importance in everyday life.
ExtensionsNote: One way to introduce Newton's First Law of Motion is to have a creative poster prepared to hang up in the classroom for future reference.
Note: This lesson could be further extended through additional writing activities or oral reports on Newton's First Law.
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