The Early Years: Objects in Motion by: Peggy Ashbrook

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Objects in motion attract children. The following activity helps children explore the motion of bodies riding in a vehicle and safely demonstrates the answer to their questions, “Why do I need a seatbelt?” Children will enjoy moving the cup around, even if all they “see” is a cup rather than understanding it represents a car. They will understand that each time they suddenly stop the cup, the marble will roll out unless it is taped in, even if they do not yet understand that the same forces apply to passengers in a car.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (6)
  • on Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:07 AM

This article talks about letting students manipulate the objects to show that they can put forces onto objects. I really like the cup idea and how it relates to real life events even if they may not completely understand it at first. I also like that they use simple objects that kids have probably seen before and can manipulate on their own.

Kaylee Buck
Kaylee Buck

  • on Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:06 PM

This journal article is extremely useful for teachers who are going to teach the concept of forces and motion to very young students. This concept can be particularly hard for students to grasp due to its more abstract nature; however, the activity provided in the article provides a visual that will aid the students in understanding more about the concept of forces and motion. Students will find the activity fun and engaging, and they may not even realizing that they are learning. It is also important that the activity incorporates an important safety lesson in with the idea of forces and motion. This activity will be something that students can refer back to as their knowledge of forces and motion increases throughout their school careers.

Kara W  (Nocona, TX)
Kara W (Nocona, TX)

  • on Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:50 AM

It is amazing how this author can take such simple objects as a marble, clear plastic cup and some tape and turn it into an exciting activity for young students! But that is what she does in this article that is a must read for teachers and parents of young children.

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

  • on Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:22 PM

This article describes a very simple marble activity that helps very young children understand why seatbelts are necessary. The activity is provided and readers are introduced to an ‘early years’ blog. This is an excellent example of how younger children learn and how a teacher can set up an activity that will help them in the learning process at this early age.

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

  • on Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:48 PM

This article provides several different fun ways to engage students in learning about motion. I think that the cup activity could have used a toy person, rather than a marble. Students might think the marble rolls out merely because it is round, not because the cup stopped suddenly. I like how these activities get children to actively explore motion.

Elizabeth Homans
Elizabeth Homans

  • on Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:26 PM

This article includes so many ideas but I love that the cup lesson reinforces the importance of wearing seat belts through a science lesson on motion.

Julie  (Lexington, KY)
Julie (Lexington, KY)

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