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Through these activities students will observe and understand the effect of gravity on objects.
Tubulartastic Roller Coaster
Tubulartastic Body Coasters
Gravity is a force that many of us take for granted. We cannot see it, touch it, or smell it so how can this force affect us in our day -to-day lives. When introducing the subject of gravity, the teacher needs to talk about where this concept came from. Discuss Newton and his laws of physics with the students. Newton observed an apple falling from a tree. He developed new ideas about gravity and motion. Gravity is an unseen force that affects all matter. Matter makes up everything and its the amount of stuff in a material body.
It may also be beneficial to talk about Galileo and Aristotle and how their ideas were different but they each had the right idea about gravity. Gravity not only affects our planet but the whole universe. The adding of this information will help in establishing a science base as well as introducing students to important scientists from the past.
Terms from the State Science CORE that students need to know when talking about gravity are: distance, force, gravity, weight, motion, speed, direction, and simple machine.
When preparing for the Tubularastic Roller Coaster activity you need to make sure that the diameter of the balls is small enough that it will fit in the tubing. If you get a small diameter of tubing, then the balls need to be smaller. You could also use balls such as shot, found at sporting good stores. If using shot, the tubing needs to be about 3/4 in. Be sure to check that the balls roll freely in the tubing. Marbles will probably be your best bet, since you can find marbles of different materials and weights just make sure the balls are all the same diameter. You may want a piece of tubing for each student or use one piece of tubing per group of students, use whichever works best for you.
1. Use Science Process and Thinking skills.
2. Manifest Scientific Attitudes and Interests.
3. Understand Science Concepts and Principles.
4. Communicate Effectively Using Science Language and Reasoning.
Making a Science Journal:
Before beginning this activity you may want to have students make a journal. Journals are important tools for students as they do science. A journal provides students with a place to record predictions as they do the activities. The student can write important vocabulary that you want them to know and they can refer to their journals and the notes they have taken. Taking notes will help them develop a tool for gathering important information and then taking that information and writing summaries. The journal can also be used to record the data that will be used later on by the student to create a graph. Journals are important throughout all the subjects.
Invitation to Learn
Begin to read the book, I Fall Down by Vicki Cobb. As you read relate the things in the story to real life. For example, when the boy in the story throws the items up in the air you will do the same thing with your students. When he throws the keys, you will throw the keys you have, when he throws the block, you will throw the A block, etc. Then when it comes to the page where the boy is to take a spoon full of honey or molasses do the same thing but allow the students to watch it close up and hands on. This could be done as a whole group activity or you could break the students into groups and they can do the same things that the character is doing in the book, whichever way you would rather do it is fine. Continue to read the book, using the items that are in the book. Ask questions along the way like why did the things fall back to earth? Why didn't the items stay in the air longer? Have them also make predictions along the way as well. Some students will be familiar with gravity. So use these students to your advantage. This will be a good time to have students write predictions in their journals, then check to see if their predictions were correct.
Tubulartastic Roller Coaster
Here are the steps for making a quick and easy student journal:
Tubular Body Coasters
Ozgun-Koca, S. A., (2001). The graphing skills of students in mathematics and science education, Retrieved January 27, 2007 from http://www.stemworks.org/digests/EDO-SE- 01-02.pdf
Making representations in math and science plays a very important role in education. Graphs can summarize complex information very effectively. . Although graphs are explicitly taught in mathematics classrooms as an end in themselves, many subject areas such as science or social studies utilize graphs to represent and interpret relationships. So being able to read or make graphical representations is a crucial skill for every student to learn. However, many researchers detected that many students lack graphing skills. The best way for our students to know graphs is to use them in every subject possible. Technology is a great resource for helping teachers in graphing activities. This article gives some great web sites for teachers to use in teaching the subject of graphing.
Haury, D. L. (2001). Teaching science through inquiry. Retrieved January 26, 2007 from http://www.stemworks.org/realmshomepage.html
The move in science education has moved from learning about science to doing science. Students at all grade levels should have the opportunity to use scientific inquiry and develop the ability to think and act in ways associated with inquiry, including asking questions, planning and conducting investigations. This means using appropriate tools and techniques to gather data, thinking critically and logically about relationships between evidence and explanations, constructing and analyzing alternative explanations, and communicating scientific arguments. The article talks about using the World Wide Web as an important tool for achieving success in science, not only for teachers, but students as well. Although experiencing science with hands on is the most critical part of learning science, the web can greatly enrich and extend inquiry approach to science teaching. The article introduces two approaches to using the World Wide Web, (a) through accessing data sets constructed by science projects or agencies, and (b) through collaboration with other school groups to produce data sets (network science projects). It lists many web sites for use in gaining more inquiry into science education.