This is a three-day multimedia lesson plan for grades 6-9 on Galileo's experiments involving inertia and gravity. It includes short, easily embedded videos relating to Galileo's pendulum and inclined plane experiments, plus an interactive simulation for student exploration. Also included is a lesson plan with printable instructions on constructing a pendulum in the classroom. This module is designed to give beginning students a conceptual framework to understand Newton's Laws when they progress to a physics course.
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Please note that this resource requires
Galileo's experiments, Law of Inertia, Newton's First Law, gravitational acceleration, gravity, inertia, pendulum experiment
Metadata instance created
January 1, 2009
by Caroline Hall
January 3, 2013
by Caroline Hall
Last Update when Cataloged:
March 17, 2008
AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)
1. The Nature of Science
1A. The Scientific Worldview
6-8: 1A/M2. Scientific knowledge is subject to modification as new information challenges prevailing theories and as a new theory leads to looking at old observations in a new way.
4. The Physical Setting
4B. The Earth
6-8: 4B/M3. Everything on or anywhere near the earth is pulled toward the earth's center by gravitational force.
6-8: 4F/M3a. An unbalanced force acting on an object changes its speed or direction of motion, or both.
9-12: 4F/H1. The change in motion (direction or speed) of an object is proportional to the applied force and inversely proportional to the mass.
9-12: 4F/H2. All motion is relative to whatever frame of reference is chosen, for there is no motionless frame from which to judge all motion.
9-12: 4F/H8. Any object maintains a constant speed and direction of motion unless an unbalanced outside force acts on it.
4G. Forces of Nature
9-12: 4G/H1. Gravitational force is an attraction between masses. The strength of the force is proportional to the masses and weakens rapidly with increasing distance between them.
10. Historical Perspectives
10A. Displacing the Earth from the Center of the Universe
9-12: 10A/H5. Using the newly invented telescope to study the sky, Galileo made many discoveries that supported the ideas of Copernicus. It was Galileo who found the moons of Jupiter, sunspots, craters and mountains on the moon, and many more stars than were visible to the unaided eye.
9-12: 10A/H6. Writing in Italian rather than in Latin (the language of scholars at the time), Galileo presented arguments for and against the two main views of the universe in a way that favored the newer view. His descriptions of how things move provided an explanation for why people might notice the motion of the earth. Galileo's writings made educated people of the time aware of these competing views and created political, religious, and scientific controversy.
9-12: 10A/H8. The work of Copernicus, Galileo, Brahe, and Kepler eventually changed people's perception of their place in the universe.
12. Habits of Mind
12A. Values and Attitudes
9-12: 12A/H3. In science, a new theory rarely gains widespread acceptance until its advocates can show that it is borne out by the evidence, is logically consistent with other principles that are not in question, explains more than its rival theories, and has the potential to lead to new knowledge.
This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.
Topic: Dynamics: Forces and Motion Unit Title: Newton's First Law & Inertia
Galileo's classic experiments on gravity and inertia are presented in an entertaining multimedia format. Includes full standards-based lesson plan, four short videos, an interactive simulation, and printable instructions for a classroom pendulum experiment. Excellent resource to pave the way for future understanding of Newton's Laws.
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