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You'll Flip Over Forces & Motion

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Keywords: and a screen to project the video clips., lap top, Flip video
Subject(s): Physics
Grades 6 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Ludlow Elementary School, Ludlow, VT
Planned By: Heidi Baitz
Original Author: Heidi Baitz, Ludlow
Submitted by Heidi Baitz
Ludlow Elementary School
Ludlow, Vermont 05149
[email protected]

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“We are Newtonians, fervent and devout, when we speak of forces and masses, of action and reaction; when we say that a sports team has momentum, when we note the inertia of a tradition or bureaucracy; and when we stretch out an arm and feel the force of gravity all around, pulling earthward.” James Gleick

This intensive course, designed specifically for K-8 teachers, will focus on forces and motion as understood through Newton’s Laws of Motion. Conceptual and quantitative understanding plus applications to many areas of our lives will be emphasized through inquiry, learning cycles, and the use of science notebooks.

This past summer while co-teaching a course on “Forces and Motion” at Castleton State College, my partner, Dr. Garland and I wanted to incorporate video cameras into the course because integrating technology was an integral component of this course for teachers in K-8.

During the week-long course, students were exposed to a variety of inquiry-based learning and hands-on activities. The purpose of this was to make learning the concepts and vocabulary real, so that in return, the participants could deepen their own foundation of physics. Upon returning to their respective classrooms, participants would be able to teach the same concepts and vocabulary they learned to their students with a sense of ease.

As a culminating activity of this course, students were put into groups of four and sent on a scavenger hunt using their flip cameras. They were given a list of concepts and vocabulary words that they needed to find evidence of within the Castleton campus or in the community of Castleton and document their findings with the Flip camera.

One of the last requirements of the course was for the teams to create a song, rap, or poem of Newton’s 1st, 2nd, and 3rd laws. Discussions pursued as to whether what was captured on their flip cameras was accurate or inaccurate. Students were given approximately two hours to complete their assignment. Once the afternoon session began we showed all of the teams’ videos and laughed ourselves silly.

Students thoroughly enjoyed this learning activity and instantly thought of ways to incorporate Flip cameras into their own units of study. We were asked by many teachers if they could do this same activity with their students when they return to their respective classrooms, and we agreed that it was a great idea.

Grades: Although this Flip lesson could be incorporated with modified vocabulary and concepts at any level, this particular lesson would be geared for students in grades 6-8.

Forces & Motion Scavenger Hunt

Using your flip camera ...

1. Interview three different people (not in our class) and ask them, “If you were to drop a feather and a hammer from the same height on the Moon, which would land first?”

2. Find an example in nature that illustrates balanced and unbalanced forces.

3. Find an example of negative velocity.

4. Find an object experiencing a lot of air resistance.

5. Find an example of an object changing velocity.

6. Find two examples of friction.

7. Video your group (minus the person operating the camera) demonstrating Newton’s First or Second Law.

8. Find something in the village with a lot of inertia.

9. Capture three people demonstrating acceleration ... maybe in the Fine Arts Center?

10. FINALE: Your group performing a song, rap or poem using this week’s vocabulary and concepts.

Materials: Flip Video