Lesson details





Use two different standard measures of length

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Recommended Technology: 
  • Either a computer with internet connected to a smartboard for teacher guided
    • or a Chromebook/laptop/tablet for 1:1;
  • Optional for investigation follow up:
    • A device that records videos such as a flip cam, phone, iPod, iPad, Chromebook, etc.  
    • a computer/laptop on which to download short videos and a place to share them.
Other instructional materials or notes: 
  • 1 piece of aluminum foil (smooth) per group- 3 feet long
  • 1 piece of aluminum foil (crinkled) per group (to use after the initial investigation) 3 feet long
  • Sandpaper (per group) 3 feet of fine grit (you can choose different a different grit to meet your needs)
  • 3 feet of felt per group
  • 1 ramp per group (you can make one out of books- The ramp ensures equal force of the car each time it enters a new surface
  • Carpet (can be the classroom carpet) or carpet squares (if available)
  • 1 toy car (similar to a Matchbox ™ car per group
  • Paper or notebook, pencil- per child
  • Yard stick or 12 inch ruler (at least 1 per group)
  • 1 ice cube per group
  • 1 flat pink eraser per group
  • Paper towels for clean up
  • Activity sheet for students
  • Disciplinary Literacy instructor sheets
    • Two or Three Before Me;
    • MTV (Making Thinking Visible),
    • Tweet to Me

Streetwise web site needs flash software to work.

Slide, Slide to the Finish Line

2-3 hours
Lesson type: 
Traditional Lesson
Lesson overview: 

Students will investigate friction by
a) using inquiry to make observations about particular surfaces, receiving direct instruction related to the inquiry activity, and then by conducting an investigation, collecting data, and drawing conclusion about different surfaces – how those surfaces affect motion, and how friction plays a role.
b) They will compare how different surfaces affect motion by comparing the distance an object travels on various surfaces.
c) Students will draw conclusions based on the information they collect. 
d)  Students will learn how a Zamboni machine reduces friction on ice as part of this video on Knowitall.

Essential Question: 

How does friction affect movement?

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