Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Motion Fun

I don't know about you, but teaching force and motion to Kindergarteners is hard!!!  The standard says "Investigate how applied forces can make things move (push and pull)." There are so many great motion experiments, but making them kinder friendly is difficult.  Well, that's not really true- you can still do the experiments, but explaining it in kinder friendly language is difficult.  So, we've been doing some basic things with motion.  On Monday, we discovered that markers can't roll by themselves- we need to give them a push or put them on a ramp and slide them.  Then we also saw how different objects can move down a ramp (slide, roll, spin etc...) Yesterday we explored with different sized forces.  I put tracks (green painter tape) of different lengths on the tables.  I gave each table cars and the job was to try to give the car enough force (a push) to make the car stop exactly at the track's finish line.

Then I brought them back to the carpet and we talked about what they noticed.  We wrote our "scientific observations" on chart paper.  The kinders noticed that if the track was long they had to give a bigger push.  If that track was shorter they had to give a smaller push.
Then, I told them that scientists sometimes do an experiment and then something else pops up that they wonder about.  I told them that while they were doing this experiment, I was wondering if the push they gave would be different on a different surface.  So, we moved one piece of tape at each table to a different surface- the classroom carpet, the meeting area carpet, the library carpet and the tile floor.  This time their job was to try the push on both surfaces and compare how big/small a push they needed to give the car on the different surfaces.

Then we came back together and talked about our scientific observations.  They decided that the carpet was rough, so they needed to give a bigger push than on the table.  They also decided that the tile was  more slippery ("slippery-er" in Kinder language) than the table, so they could give a smaller push.
Wow!  Lots of science going on and some fairly deep topics that they've just begun to brush the surface of, but it's a good start.
By the way, I found a great resource from TpT where some of these ideas came from.  I adapted a bit, but it's a great unit (and motion units for kinder are hard to find).  It's from Kindergarten Squared.  Click  here for a link to the product at their store.



  1. Wow....I can't imagine teaching motion to 5 year olds! Yikes!! More power to you sister :) Looks like they had a lot of fun and learned a ton!! :)

  2. Great idea! My kiddos would be SO into this activity! Thank for sharing the pictures.
    Whimsy Workshop

  3. Awww! Thanks so much for the Force and Motion shout out! We are so glad you found our pack helpful! So sweet!!!