This 22-page project provides two complete lesson plans (part 1 and part 2) to help elementary students investigate pendulums, force, and motion. Specifically, students will investigate whether the mass of a pendulum affects the number of times it can swing in 30 seconds, and whether the length of a pendulum affects the number of times it can swing in 30 seconds.
These lessons address several of Texas's science TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills), but I use these lessons to address these two main objectives:
- 2.6C - trace the changes in the position of an object over time such as a cup rolling on the floor and a car rolling down a ramp
- 2.6D - compare patterns of movement of objects such as sliding, rolling, and spinning.
To complete this investigation, you will need some kite string or yarn, and 5 washers per group of students. I make the pendulums in advance for my groups, and then I re-use them year after year. You will also need some tape that is NOT clear, although you could also use a sticker or heavy object instead. You may wish to use a stopwatch with each team, but a link is provided to an online stopwatch that my kids love!
It takes my class about 2 hours to complete both of these lessons, but extension ideas are provided, in case you need to make it last longer.
Provided in this packet is the following:
- 3 pages of notes to you, including tips and tricks for how to implement this lesson successfully
- 2 complete lesson plans (part 1 and part 2) -- so detailed that they take up 10 total pages in the packet
- a slide of discussion questions to display to students
- a slide with answers to the discussion questions
- slides with the "question of the day" for each lesson
- a slide that names and describes each job in this activity -- great for displaying while students are working so no one gets confused
- a non-editable recording sheet for each lesson (part 1 and part 2). These recording sheets come 2/page, which is the perfect size to fit inside a composition notebook (what my students use as science notebooks). If your students don't use science notebooks, you can just brag to your principal that you're saving paper. :)
- an editable recording sheet for each lesson (part 1 and part 2) -- type directly onto the slide to customize it, or delete the text box and let your students write it in in pencil.
This packet will download in a zipped (compressed) file. Please make sure you are able to unzip it prior to purchasing. After unzipping, the actual lesson plans are in a PowerPoint document. There are TWO editable pages in this document; to edit them, you'll just click on the text boxes I've inserted and customize to your heart's desire. As stated above, you can also delete the text boxes so that your students can do the customizing in pencil.