Science lesson plan friction


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This is a complete lesson plan on friction and the effect it has upon moving objects, This free teaching resource is from Innovative Teaching Resources. You can access hundreds of their excellent resources here.

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Science lesson plan friction

  1. 1. Science Lesson Plan: Friction How does friction effect the movement of an object. Key Learning Areas Science Key Concepts Force and Motion, Friction Age / Level Age 10 - 13 USA Yr 4 - 7 UK KS-2 Australia Yr 4 – 7 Duration Approx 2 – 3 90 minute lessons. Copyright ©2010
  2. 2. Learning Intention / Overview • Students will examine the effect friction has upon moving objects • Why does friction impede the free movement of objects. • What is the relationship between force and friction.
  3. 3. Resources Required • Lesson 1 • Straws – For Axles • Skewers – For Axles • Hard Card - For wheels and Body • Lids - For Wheels ( Optional ) • Sticky tape • Lesson 2 • Balloons • Straws • Paper clips • String or Fishing Line
  4. 4. Introduction • What happens when we rub our hands together quickly? Test this with your students and write up shared notes on the board. • Explain to students that this phenomenon is known as friction and it is both a very useful and disruptive force.
  5. 5. Comparing Friction • Fact: A train has 7 times less rolling resistance than a truck on a road and is a highly efficient method of moving heavy goods long distances. Essentially because it has a great deal less friction impeding it than a truck. • In small groups get students to brainstorm why this is so for about 5 - 10 minutes and then share results with whole class.
  6. 6. Reason • The train has a very minimal contact point between the hard smooth steel rails and wheels. This dramatically reduces friction. • Conversely the truck has spongy rubber wheels on a softer bitumen surface – thus increasing friction.
  7. 7. Activity One • Now that Students have an understanding of this principle their task is to design and create a 4 wheeled cart from your resources list with a focus on creating free moving axles and wheels with minimal contact points between the road and the wheels. • Their challenge is to see which cart can roll the farthest down a slope. You may ask them to actually carry an object or use specific resources this is up to you.
  8. 8. Activity One Reflection • Get your students to take notes on why some carts rolled further than others and how friction on some cars was really helping or hindering them travelling a longer distance. – What were the wheels made from? – Where the axles free moving? – What size where the wheels? – Was weight a factor? How & Why? – And Finally how could you improve your cart so that next time it would be even more successful.
  9. 9. Lesson 2 • The second activity required students to create a Balloon rocket on a String. Click here for a detailed explanation of how to make these. • Your Students will obviously be allowed to tweak their rocket from the instructions provided to reduce all friction by using things such as paperclips and shortening the straws and any other ideas they have.
  10. 10. Lesson 2 - Reflection • Students can write up a formal science report about the balloon rocket using the following headings. • AIM – What did we set out to achieve and what was the purpose of doing it? • Materials – What materials were used in performing this experiment. • Procedure – Include step by step instructions so that the reader could replicate this experiment exactly. • Conclusion – What was the finding of your experiment and what would you alter next time?
  11. 11. Taking it further • As an extension task get your children to research how we use friction to generate heat and power. • Get them to research and report on how this can be used to power cars of the future (Read this article.)