Forces and Motion | Electricity and Magnetism

Looking through forces spectacles - an activity

Classroom Activity for 5-11 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

What the Activity is for

Helping students to see the world in a new way.

The purpose of this activity is for children to make simplified drawings of each of the stations in the circus and to draw in the forces acting on the different objects.

What to Prepare

A set of stations to show forces in action. For example:

  • a cup on the table
  • a mass hanging on a string
  • a floating block
  • a shoe on a slope
  • some foam under a heavy book
  • a stretched spring
  • something leaning against the wall
  • something on a weighing machine

For this activity you might use the same circus of stations as for the Cardboard Arrows activity.

  • starter sheet, Where are the forces?, which explains the task, gives an example and then offers children a framework for their own work.

    download the pdf to use

What Happens During this Activity

Pupils might be taken through the first example as a whole class. The main point to make being that the modelling process is aimed at producing a simplified sketch of the real situation at each station. The skill is to observe, think and then draw. Forces can be added as a last stage.


Download the support sheet / student worksheet for this activity.

2023 IOP Awards

Teachers of Physics Awards

Recognising and celebrating outstanding contributions to the field of physics education.

Learn more