How to Teach Force and Motion {6 Useful Activities}

Literacy

Professional Development

October 12, 2019

How to Teach Force and Motion {6 Useful Activities}

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How do you feel about teaching force and motion? It was always a favorite of mine to implement. I loved leading students through a variety of force and motion activities that they loved and engaged them. But, at one point I stopped to wonder if what I was doing was just fun or actually taught students the standards they were supposed to be learning? 

After digging deep into researching the standards, I decided to create my own unit that I knew would help my students experience the most success while fully covering the standards I needed to. It’s full of not only hands-on force and motion activities, but activities and lessons to drive home the content in a way students can understand and retain it. 

These six activities are favorites to use to successfully teach students all about force and motion. 

1. Use anchor charts to visualize learning. 

If you visit my blog often enough, you’ll quickly learn my love for anchor charts. They are universally great to add to any unit you might teach. In science, anchor charts are one of the must-do force and motion activities. Anchor charts help visualize students’ learning, encourage students to write with you, and help connect prior learning to new learning. They also provide great support for your ELLs

In the Force and Motion unit, I included everything you’ll need for two effective anchor charts to make with your students. One is a KWL chart and the other is a sorting chart. Both will get your students to think about their learning, process new content, and share what they have learned. 

2. Write about force and motion using flipbooks and graphic organizers. 

Graphic organizers and flipbooks help students scaffold their learning and think about their thinking. Writing about science has many benefits including:

  • helps clarify students’ thinking and streamline it
  • builds a solid foundation of new concepts
  • provides authentic opportunities for students to practice using new vocabulary and communicate about their learning

Graphic organizers like bubble maps, flipbooks, and KWL charts are perfect pieces to add to interactive notebooks. If you want a full set of graphic organizers to help support you teaching force and motion, they’re included in the unit. 

3. Implement hands-on force and motion activities. 

Hands-on activities and science experiments are always a hit in science. The Force and Motion unit has a full science experiment for you to use to guide students through the scientific method. It has everything you’ll need to implement it: teacher directions, visual directions for students, and recording pages. 

There are also three movement stations you can set up for students to participate in. You can do them each in a whole group setting or have students rotate through them. I also included an activity for students to do partially at home to allow parents to be involved in learning, too. 

I understand that the hands-on parts of science can sometimes be a little overwhelming, but it is so important for students to be able to apply what they have learned. If they can take the new knowledge and practice it in an activity or experiment, they’re so much more likely to retain what they have learned. Plus, they always add a ton of fun to the day! 

“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” – Confucius 

4. Use sorting activities to reinforce learning force and motion at a higher level. 

Take students’ learning above remembering and understanding and towards applying and analyzing with sorting activities. Force and motion activities like pocket book sorts and pocket chart sorts are excellent ones for students to both apply what they’ve learned and explain the relationship between forces. These types of activities also allow you to informally assess students to be sure they are successfully learning the content they need to. 

The force and motion unit has a whole group pocket chart sorting activity, an indiviual cut-and-paste sorting activity, and a pocket book sorting activity that’s perfect to put into an interactive science notebook. 

5. Utilize interactive read alouds. 

Utilizing interactive read alouds is another powerful way to reinforce force and motion by integrating science topics into reading. They can build background knowledge for students before you introduce a topic like force and motion. Interactive read alouds also allow your students to engage in meaningful conversations with new vocabulary they’ll use in science. What a great way to support students’ vocabulary, especially your ELLs. 

6. Integrate literacy components about force and motion for more authentic learning. 

Continuing with science integration, adding literacy components like shared reading, poetry, and mini-books are the perfect force and motion activities to help squeeze science in throughout the day. The force and motion unit was thoughtfully created with a shared reading poem, phonics activities, and a mini-reader to provide you with more opportunities to talk about force and motion throughout the day. They’re perfect to help you integrate science throughout the day to help make learning more authentic and memorable for all of your students. 

I know we all can agree that learning needs to be fun and engaging, but I always add that the activities we choose need to be purposeful and intentional. These force and motion activities have become my favorite to use for this unit. I think you and your students will love them, too. 

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To make this unit as easy as possible for you to use, I have included a detailed teaching plan to help make lesson planning a breeze and teacher notes for each activity so you will feel confident implementing it. 

Teachers who have already purchased and used this product are saying: 

“Lots of fun activities! Really helped my students understand the concepts!”
“Really helped me teach this concept!”
“Awesome pictures and clear explanations for student use.”

Check it out with the links below. Let me know if you have any questions! I’m always happy to help. 

Shop This Post – Force and Motion Activites:

Happy Teaching,

Amanda

Mega Read Aloud List

Use this FREE mega list of science-related read alouds for kindergarten through second grade to help you teach science all year long! This list covers 39 science topics with 4+ book suggestions for each topic. Grab it today to be set for the entire year of science read alouds!

Hi, I'm Amanda

I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your students love and that are easy to implement for teachers.  Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, you’ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!

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