How Does Force Affect Motion?by: Gerald Darling

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Students clear up science misconceptions when they learn about the "fantastic four" ways in which force affects motion.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (6)
  • on Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:41 AM

The author does a fabulous job demonstrating how to identify students' preconceptions and misconceptions about forces. Next, several activities are suggested to help students dispel those misconceptions. A wonderful read for any teacher.

Ruth Lehmann Hutson  (Westmoreland, KS)
Ruth Lehmann Hutson (Westmoreland, KS)

  • on Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:41 PM

This is a great resource for teachers who want to increase their own knowledge of forces and motion. It clearly identifies the different affects of forces, and gives creative ways to demonstrate these concepts to students.

Elizabeth Homans
Elizabeth Homans

  • on Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:28 PM

I love how this article broke the forces down into content that isn't too difficult and wordy to understand. I love how it provided a pre-assessment so you can better evaluate your students level of understanding. Once you have the pre-assessment you will be able to better prepare for the unit of force/motion. I plan on using this :)


  • on Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:34 PM

To best teach students a teacher must first know what the student understands and what misconceptions they may have on a topic. It is very important to have several quality recommendations on hand when explaining something new to students. Having quality recommendations is also a great way to move students to a deeper understanding. There are many recommendations within this article. It is a great resource to find ideas that will help further students understanding of a concept. This article is extremely helpful when trying to identify the misconceptions that students have when they walk into your classroom. This article offers a formative assessment that teachers can use to assess what the students have learned about force, motion, friction, and gravity. This article gives a very precise way to teach the forces that affect motion.

Jessica Schobert
Jessica Schobert

  • on Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:12 PM

Knowing what the students are thinking is half the battle in helping students understand new concepts. That is certainly true in Gerald Darling’s article on “How Does Force Affect Motion? A huge piece of the article is identifying the misconceptions that students bring into the classroom. Darling created a pre-assessment survey, “a formative assessment”, that probes students ideas about how force can change a motion and how forces ,”friction and gravity” affect motion. I think this article has many quality recommendations about how to move students towards a deep understanding of these concepts

Kathy Renfrew  (Barnet, VT)
Kathy Renfrew (Barnet, VT)

  • on Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:41 AM

This is an excellent article that gives a very clear way to teach the four forces that affect motion. It has great ideas for activities to teach these concepts. It also addresses misconceptions dealing with force and motion. This is a great read!

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

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