Forces and Motion | Properties of Matter

Things you'll need to decide on as you plan: Contact Forces

Teaching Guidance for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

Bringing together two sets of constraints

Focusing on the learners:

Distinguishing–eliciting–connecting. How to:

  • convince children that inanimate things can push, just like they can
  • develop the idea that a mechanism underpins the interaction that is replaced by force
  • convince children that air can exert forces

Teacher Tip: These are all related to findings about children's ideas from research. The teaching activities will provide some suggestions. So will colleagues, near and far.

Focusing on the physics:

Representing–noticing–recording. How to:

  • relate floating and sinking to forces, not to rules about displaced fluids
  • relate friction to the mechanisms of friction
  • focus on the physical reasons for placing arrows
  • justify omitting arrows from some diagrams

Teacher Tip: Connecting what is experienced with what is written and drawn is essential to making sense of the connections between the theoretical world of physics and the lived-in world of the children. Don't forget to exemplify this action.

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