A Game of Force and Motion
Designed by Laura Chambless, SCC RESA
• Meter Stick
• Copy Paper
For Class of 24
Quantity Price Total Store
Foam Board 1 per team (6) $1.50 (white) $9.00 Meijer
Foam Pipe Insulation 1 per team (6) $1.20 $7.20 Home Depot
Golf Balls 2 per team (12) $1.50 $10.00 Meijer
Table Tennis Balls 2 per team (12) $3.49 (pkg) $3.49 Meijer
Straws 1 per student (30) $2.00 (pkg) $2.00 Meijer
Beverage Stirrer 1 per student (30) $2.00 (pkg) $2.00 Meijer
9 oz Plastic Cups 8 per team (48) $3.00 (pkg) $3.00 Meijer
* Foam Pipe Insulation fits: 3/4” Copper/ ½” Iron
*This game is designed to be played with four players, two on each team. Each team keeps
track of their team score. It can also be played with two or three players. With two or
three players each player would keep track of their own score.
How to Make the Playing Board
1. On the short sides of the board. Draw a line 6” across the bottom and top,
with the sharpie, to create a starting zone for each team.
2. Cut 2 pieces of Foam Pipe Insulation 30” long and place on long side of the
3. Place the board on top of four, upside down, cups evenly spaced for support.
You do not need to glue or tape them down.
4. Place the other 4 cups at each corner of the board, sticking half way out.
Leaving enough room for the balls to drop in the cup. You do not need to tape
or glue cups here either, but the students will need to make sure to adjust
them when needed.
**All materials can be taken apart for easy storage.
Blow Ball Rules
• Arrange class into groups of four students to make a team.
• Each student numbers off, and the teacher can call out a number that will start the
game. Then the students will go in numbered order for the rest of the game.
• Students will form two teams, or the teacher can announce which numbers will be
• Each team sits at one end of the board.
• The game is played in rounds. One round consists of each student taking a turn.
• A complete game consists of five rounds.
• Students start their turn with all forces equal on the ball (the ball is at rest).
• One student at a time will try to roll their ball into one of the opponent’s cups,
blowing through a straw to create a force stronger than gravity.
• Students can apply force to their ball anywhere inside their starting zone. All forces
need to stop once their ball has passed their starting zone line.
• Any ball that lands inside an opponent’s cup is worth 1 point.
• Teams make a data table to keep track of points and rounds.
• The team with the most points after five rounds wins.
These variations will discuss all of the GLCEs. Have students play separate games
with each variation and have them use their science journals after each game.
• Change mass with different kind of balls
• Change strength of force with different diameter of straws
• Cover playing surface with fabric or crumpled paper that has been smoothed out for
force moving to the left the speed
forces moving to the right balls by
forces moving up stopwatch
or a clock
forces moving down second
When students are drawing force arrows, they should use the ones listed below:
Ball In Motion
wind from straw
Ball at Rest
force force strength push pull
gravity weight mass motion
position speed speeding up faster
slowing down slower stop start
change of motion moving away form toward behind
through below between above
centimeters seconds compare and contrast
cause stop watches clocks with a second hand
Finding Force and Motion MI GLCEs in Blow Ball
1. P.FM.03.22: Identify the force that pulls objects towards the Earth.
• Have students draw side view of game board and ball. Label all forces (w/arrows)
acting on the ball (air, gravity). Use different masses of balls to show that gravity is
pulling on all objects no matter the mass.
2. P.FM.03.35: Describe how a push or a pull is a force.
• Push the force of air through the straw is pushing on each of the balls.
• Push the force will move the ball away for you (the source of the force)
• Pull the force of gravity will pull the ball down when it drops off the end of the
• Pull the students will pull the ball up when lifting it out of the cup
• Pull the force will move the ball toward you (the source of the force)
3. P.FM.03.36: Relate a change in motion of an object to the force that caused the
change in motion.
• Smaller forces will cause the ball to move in a straight path and the force of friction
will cause it to slow down. Air is also pushing on the ball to slow it down. Gravity
will be causing the ball to stay at rest when all other forces are equal.
• Larger forces will keep the ball on a straight path for a longer time and the force of
friction will slow the ball down. Air is also pushing on the ball to slow it down.
Gravity will be causing the ball to stay at rest when all other forces are equal.
• Blowing through the straw is the force that starts the ball moving.
• Blowing through the straw is showing wind force.
4. P.FM.03.37: Demonstrate how the change in motion of an object is related to
the strength of the force acting upon the object and to the mass of the object.
• Using different diameter of straws and balls with different masses, students will be
able to observe that:
o Heavier objects need a stronger force to cause a change in motion
o Lighter objects need less force to cause a change in motion
• By students blowing on the balls at different forces, students will be able to conclude
that the larger the force that greater the change in motion.
• Push the larger the diameter of the straw, the greater the force
• Push the smaller the diameter of the straw, the smaller the force
• A small force will cause the ball to move slowly.
• A greater force will cause the ball to move faster.
• If the ball goes over the cup, the student used to much force on the ball.
• If the ball does not reach the cup, the student did not use enough force.
5. P.FM.03.38: Demonstrate when an object does not move in response to a force,
it is because another force is acting on it.
• Have students start their turn with all forces equal on the ball.
• Have students draw game board and label picture of all forces acting on a ball that
is at rest and a ball that is in motion.
6. P.FM.03.41: Describe the motion of objects in terms of the path and direction.
• Have the team draw the same picture of the game board with one ball in motion.
Have each team member mark which person they are on the game board. Have each
team member describe the motion they are seeing from the position they are sitting.
7. P.FM.03.42: Identify changes in motion (change direction, speeding up, slowing
• Same a GLCE P.FM.03.36
8. P.FM.03.43: Relate the speed of an object to the distance it travels in a
standard amount of time.
• Have students compare the speeds of difference ball masses. Which ball moves faster
or slower with the same amount of force?
• Students need to play a game with each of the different:
Straws different diameters
Balls different masses
Friction different amount of friction
• Students need to keep a Blow Ball Journal. Each lesson should have these journal
Claims and Evidence
Science Conference with Class discuss observations
Conclusion – I Learned
• Use the Scientist’s Notebook Model: http://www.ebecri.org/custom/toolkit.html
• Use the Claim/Evidence, Observation, I Learned page attached with your journal
Focus Questions for Each GLCE
1. How does gravity affect the balls motion?
2. What is kind of force is moving the ball?
3. How does force change the motion of an object?
4. How does mass affect the force strength?
5. What forces are acting on an object at rest?
6. How do you describe motion using its path, direction, and physical movement?
7. How does force change the motion of an object?
8. What is speed?