Forces and Motion

Newtonmeter question

Classroom Activity for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

What the Activity is for

The purpose of this activity is to get pupils thinking and talking about forces. The question focuses on thinking about the force to support a load.

What to Prepare

  • Copies of the support sheet, number of copies to suit the style of activity chosen (see below)

What Happens During this Activity

You might use a vertically hanging slinky as a teaser or starter:

Teacher: Why are the coils of my hanging slinky farther apart than those at the bottom?… No, don't answer straight off. We're going to have a look at a question together that'll help us to construct a good explanation.

Use the question to set up a discussion, using groups of 3 or 4.

The question can lead naturally into discussions about the tension in a rope, whether hanging or horizontal. Some useful ideas can be explored, for more confident pupils, by discussing the tension in the rope during a tug of war.


Download the support sheet / student worksheet for this activity.

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