Forces and Motion

How things fall

Classroom Activity for 5-11 Supporting Physics Teaching

What the Activity is for

This is a focussing activity, that shows the wide variety of things that fall in the children's everyday environment, and begins to develop a range of descriptions for these falls.

What to Prepare

  • A frame for collecting lists of kinds of things that fall
  • Frames for developing different kinds of descriptions of falling

What Happens During this Activity

Encourage children to collect examples of many different kinds of things that fall and seek to categorise those in ways that make sense to them.

Compare and contrast the different falls, seeking to develop a qualitative or semi-quantitative description of each.

The idea of a semi-quantitative description is useful here: we want to build to talk about more or less speed and more or less force.

You're not after full quantification, with numbers and units: we are after comparing the values of the speed over a journey (in this case a fall) and perhaps, somewhat later, the values of the forces over that same journey.

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