Making Sense of Motionby: Kenneth King

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This activity is designed to introduce motion concepts to students through active, hands-on investigation, and to help activate their prior knowledge about motion. It can be developed into a culminating assessment for a unit on force and motion that uses higher-order thinking skills to make sense of the experience.

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Reviews (4)
  • on Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:42 PM

Students learn about motion by using marbles in motion and monitoring their path and speed as the marbles are exposed to barriers and forces are applied to them. Using toys is not a unique idea but it is a good way to easily engage students in learning science concepts. All aspects of the 5E model of instruction are provided as well as all appropriate handouts and evaluation. This is a good idea to learn how a simple activity of a rolling marble can lead to a good inquiry lesson.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:48 PM

I used the lesson plan idea described in this article today with my science classes, and WOW – it was awesome! My students totally engaged in the activity. Imagine my excitement as I walked around the room and heard phrases such as, “we need more momentum!” and “there is not enough friction.” What a great lesson plan idea for anyone teaching speed, force and motion. My students will remember this experience and the lessons they learned with it for a long time.

Susanne Hokkanen  (Orland Park, IL)
Susanne Hokkanen (Orland Park, IL)

  • on Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:29 PM

This article presents an excellent 5E lesson plan on teaching motion. The article walks the reader through a 5E lesson plan on motion in a clear and precise manner, explaining student expectations at each step. More importantly, the author reminds the teacher/reader to not “teach” the topic, but instead encourages the teacher/reader to allow the students to discover the relation of speed, distance and time through inquiry. The article includes clear and easy to follow directions for completing the 5E lesson plan activity, a teacher form to use for observations/evaluations of student progress in understanding the key terms, and discussion questions to inspire additional student-centered inquiry. This lesson plan could be easily and affordably implemented in most any classroom. It is practical, and it appears that it would be effective. Most importantly, the lesson ideas are presented in a student-centered fashion. Affordable, practical and student center – an all around winning l

Susanne Hokkanen  (Orland Park, IL)
Susanne Hokkanen (Orland Park, IL)

  • on Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:24 PM

This article, using an activity called "Marble Roll", introduces motion concepts to students through active, hands-on investigations, and helps them activate their prior knowledge about motion. It talks about the vocabulary used in investigations dealing with force and motion. In the 5E lesson format, "Making Sense of Motion" is clearly written, it has excellent teacher background material, explains how to prepare the lesson, supplies a ready-to-use lesson for students in grades 4-8, and provides a way to document students conceptualization of the concept. I highly recommend this article to teachers in grades 4-8, if not to implement, then just to read and further their "teaching strategies warehouse".

Sue Garcia
Sue Garcia

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