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Our 2nd graders are about to start a unit on energy and motion. I would like to introduce them to Newton's Laws. This is a very complex topic and I don't want to "dumb it down" but I do want to teach it to them at their level to prevent boredom and frustration. I would love to know if others have done this - successfully or not - and what you did.
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In the November 2014 issue of Science & Children there is a great article "Teaching through Trade Books: What Goes Up Must Come Down!" that discusses a book for grades K-2. The title is Newton and Me by Lynne Mayer. It looks like it would help you. There is also a lesson plan in the article that is excellent. Go for it!!
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I am doing a two week project on that topic in a fun way. The topic will mainly talk about golf and the different aspects it entails. One example is the swing and force needed to swing the club to hit the ball. There are a number of journals on here that discuss Newton's Laws. I attached my collection to my golf lesson so that you could take a look at the Newton articles. I got some great ideas and learned a thing or two!
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I think you are correct about being a very difficult topic. However, I believe you need to start with teaching what a force is (push or pull) and use demonstrations from everyday life such as pushing a stroller or pulling a box toward yourself. Then ask kids to come up with what they think are examples of forces in their lives. I would follow this by asking them to sit on the floor and push toy cars and make observations. Hopefully they will realize that if you give an object a force, it will move. You might also include some image of amusement park or playground rides to reinforce forces and motions.
In Second Grade that is all that is needed to know. You are correct, this is a very complicated topic teaching Newton's Three Laws of Motion. Cognitively this is not age appropriate to explore at this age.
Hope this helps.
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Your suggestions were excellent. I have written plans with activities similar to those you suggested. I actually will teach this for the first time tomorrow, and I plan to add your ideas to the plan. Thanks for posting!
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Thank you so much, Betty! I was unaware of the publication Science and Children until you suggested it in your post. I look forward to reading the article you pointed-out as well as other editions of the journal. Thanks again!
See the Next Generation Science Standards Kindergarten performance expectations,K.Forces and Interactions: Pushes and Pulls
You might also find A Framework for K-12 Science Education useful, http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13165 It's a free download. Physical Sciences starts on page 103, Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions on page 113.
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Thank you this was a helpful resource that helped me explained the informatin to one of my sudents I tutor too.
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