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published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science
This inquiry-based lesson for grades K-2 explores motion of objects rolling down an incline. Students record data as they roll different objects down a ramp whose height is variable.  The lesson is intended to demonstrate the mechanical advantage of an inclined plane, and also to aid in concept formation of gravitational acceleration.  This is part of a larger collection of lessons developed by ScienceNetLinks for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Editor's Note: This lesson offers opportunities to engage in Science and Engineering Practices, as identified by the Next Generation Science Standards.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Motion in One Dimension
= Gravitational Acceleration
- Newton's Second Law
= Force, Acceleration
- Work and Energy
= Simple Machines
- Elementary School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Lesson/Lesson Plan
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Lesson Plan
- Activity
- New teachers
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Intended User:
Educator
Format:
text/html
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© 1998 American Association for the Advancement of Science
Keywords:
K-5 lesson plans, elementary lesson plans, elementary physical science, gravitational acceleration, inclined plane, motion, simple machine, standards-based lessons
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created February 20, 2008 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
January 10, 2014 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 31, 2008

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4F. Motion
  • K-2: 4F/P1. Things move in many different ways, such as straight, zigzag, round and round, back and forth, and fast and slow.
  • K-2: 4F/P2. The way to change how something is moving is to give it a push or a pull.
  • 3-5: 4F/E1a. Changes in speed or direction of motion are caused by forces.

12. Habits of Mind

12C. Manipulation and Observation
  • K-2: 12C/P4. Measure the length in whole units of objects using rulers and tape measures.
12D. Communication Skills
  • K-2: 12D/P1. Describe and compare real-world objects in terms of number, shape, texture, size, weight, color, and motion.
12E. Critical-Response Skills
  • K-2: 12E/P1. Ask "How do you know?" in appropriate situations and attempt reasonable answers when others ask the same question.

Next Generation Science Standards

Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions (K-PS2)

Students who demonstrate understanding can: (K)
  • 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. (K-PS2-1)
  • Analyze data to determine if a design solution works as intended to change the speed or direction of an object with a push or a pull. (K-PS2-2)

Disciplinary Core Ideas (K-12)

Forces and Motion (PS2.A)
  • Pushes and pulls can have different strengths and directions. (K)
Optimizing the Design Solution (ETS1.C)
  • Because there is always more than one possible solution to a problem, it is useful to compare and test designs. (K-2)

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices (K-12)

Analyzing and Interpreting Data (K-12)
  • Analyzing data in K–2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to collecting, recording, and sharing observations. (K-2)
    • Use observations (firsthand or from media) to describe patterns in the natural world in order to answer scientific questions. (K-1)
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions (K-12)
  • Constructing explanations and designing solutions in K–2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to the use of evidence and ideas in constructing evidence-based accounts of natural phenomena and designing solutions. (K-2)
    • Make observations (firsthand or from media) to construct an evidence-based account for natural phenomena. (1-2)
    • Use materials to design a device that solves a specific problem or a solution to a specific problem. (1)
Planning and Carrying Out Investigations (K-12)
  • Planning and carrying out investigations to answer questions or test solutions to problems in K–2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to simple investigations, based on fair tests, which provide data to support explanations or design solutions. (K-2)
    • With guidance, plan and conduct an investigation in collaboration with peers. (K)

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics Alignments

Standards for Mathematical Practice (K-12)

MP.5 Use appropriate tools strategically.

Measurement and Data (K-5)

Represent and interpret data. (1-5)
  • 2.MD.9 Generate measurement data by measuring lengths of several objects to the nearest whole unit, or by making repeated measurements of the same object. Show the measurements by making a line plot, where the horizontal scale is marked off in whole-number units.

NSES Content Standards

Con.B: Physical Science
  • K-4: Position & Motion of Objects

This resource is part of 2 Physics Front Topical Units.


Topic: Kinematics: The Physics of Motion
Unit Title: Motion in One Dimension

In this inquiry-based lesson plan for grades K-2,  students record data as they roll different objects down a ramp whose height is variable.  It is the first of a two-part lesson on ramps and their mechanical advantages.

Links to Units:

Topic: Kinematics: The Physics of Motion
Unit Title: Velocity and Acceleration

This inquiry-based lesson for grades K-2 is similar to Galileo's classic experiment with inclined planes.  Children roll spherical objects of different masses down ramps of varying heights.  As they record data, they are building a conceptual base for understanding the constant nature of acceleration due to gravity.  See the item below for Part 2 of the lesson.

Links to Units:
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Record Link
AIP Format
(American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC, 1998), WWW Document, (http://sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/ramps-1-let-it-roll/).
AJP/PRST-PER
Science NetLinks: Ramps 1: Let it Roll! (American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC, 1998), <http://sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/ramps-1-let-it-roll/>.
APA Format
Science NetLinks: Ramps 1: Let it Roll!. (2008, January 31). Retrieved August 30, 2014, from American Association for the Advancement of Science: http://sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/ramps-1-let-it-roll/
Chicago Format
American Association for the Advancement of Science. Science NetLinks: Ramps 1: Let it Roll!. Washington, DC: American Association for the Advancement of Science, January 31, 2008. http://sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/ramps-1-let-it-roll/ (accessed 30 August 2014).
MLA Format
Science NetLinks: Ramps 1: Let it Roll!. Washington, DC: American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1998. 31 Jan. 2008. 30 Aug. 2014 <http://sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/ramps-1-let-it-roll/>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {Science NetLinks: Ramps 1: Let it Roll!}, Publisher = {American Association for the Advancement of Science}, Volume = {2014}, Number = {30 August 2014}, Month = {January 31, 2008}, Year = {1998} }
Refer Export Format

%T Science NetLinks: Ramps 1: Let it Roll!
%D January 31, 2008
%I American Association for the Advancement of Science
%C Washington, DC
%U http://sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/ramps-1-let-it-roll/
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D January 31, 2008
%T Science NetLinks: Ramps 1: Let it Roll!
%I American Association for the Advancement of Science
%V 2014
%N 30 August 2014
%8 January 31, 2008
%9 text/html
%U http://sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/ramps-1-let-it-roll/


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Science NetLinks: Ramps 1: Let it Roll!:

Contains Science NetLinks: Ramps 2: Ramp Builder

This item is the follow-up to Ramps 1.  It extends the concepts through a project-based learning experience in which students design and build their own ramps.

relation by Bruce Mason

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