Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
Students will understand that as the distance of objects increase the force of attraction is weaker.
Students will understand that as the mass of the object increase the force of attraction is greater.
Students will be able to explain that the force of gravity causes the planets to move in their elliptical orbits.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
A. Force is a push or a pull.
B. Some forces act through physical contact, while others act at a distance.
C. The Solar System contents and the basic circular motion of the planets around the sun
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
How does mass and distance affect the force of gravity and the motion of objects in the solar system?
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
Students will define gravity, mass, and distance. With their partners they will check their understanding and make adjustments. Students will be randomly chosen to share and then definitions are redirected if misconceptions found.
Students will review centripetal force and the formation of the solar system from a solar nebula. Students will observe the spin of a ball on a string that the ball is moving in a circle and this is held by the string and if the string is released (demonstrate this) the ball moves away in a straight line away from the orbit.
Prior to beginning the activity students will predict the outcome and result of the tests. (See centripetal force attachment)
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
Teachers will pass out the lab reports and review the data table. Reminding the students to use the labels on the table to completely understand what they are going to use in their experiment. Students will be guided to notice the masses added to the bags and the distances. Probing the students to understand how will the distance be determined? How will the accuracy of the spin be determined? How many masses are equal to "moderate" and "heavy"?
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
Students will complete the bag swings with the no mass, moderate masses, and heavy masses. Measure the force of the masses with a spring scale. Students will also compare these swings and masses with different distances.
As the students review their data table they must review what the data table expects and their groups.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
Students will collaborate to finalize their data with their group and write their conclusion. Students will then be given sticky notes and then leave their materials at their desk. The groups will rotate and review the information from another group. On the sticky notes, the students will write a positive note and any questions they have about that group's data. Students will repeat this until they return to their station and materials. Students will then review their sticky notes and make adjustments before the data is compared to the class.
Students will nominate an individual to write the results of trial 1 on chart paper or on the board. Another student is chosen to complete the next trial, and this continues until each group has added all the information to the collective information.
Students will then review the class data as a whole to notice the trends and similarity of the conclusions.
Students will document their attempts with the bag and different distances. Students will analyze their data and notice the as the mass changes the distance changes the amount of force needed. Lastly, the students will compare the results of the activity to the movement of the planets.
Analysis Questions: answers provided in italics
- Was there difficulty spinning the mass 1?
No, the low mass allows the spin to happen effortlessly.
- Was there difficulty spinning the mass 5?
Yes, the heavy mass requires more force to spin.
- How did the force measured on the spring scale change from mass 1 to mass 5?
There was an increase in the force (# will vary depending on the masses)
- What is the difference in the spinning from mass 1 to mass 5?
As the mass increases the spinning becomes more difficult and the amount time needs to spin the object increases.
- What does the rope represent in the demonstration?
The rope is providing centripetal force by a tension force, which represents the attractive force of gravity. The rope tension is a contact force, gravity is a non-contact force, but both can keep objects rotating in a circle and are affected by mass and distance.
- Complete the following statements:
- As mass is added...
the spin becomes more difficult.
- As the distance increases...
the more unstable the spinning becomes and there is less control over the object.
- Think! The planets are held by a force and move in an orbit around the sun. Using the ideas learned in this activity explain how gravity, mass, and distance effected objects orbiting in the solar system.
The closer planets have a stronger gravitational attraction to the sun due to the distance. This was exhibited by the spinning of the bag at the close distance. The larger objects in the outer solar system have a strong attraction due to the masses. However, the distance from the sun does cause some reduction in the gravitational attraction. This was illustrated in the unstable and difficulty spinning of the heavy masses and longer distances. Gravity was represented by the rope attached to the bag, which is the centripetal force.
Students will identify the definition of mass, distance, and gravity. Students will think it, pair it, and share it. The teacher circulates listening to responses. After the students have shared they will randomly be asked to share aloud and misconceptions addressed.
Feedback to Students
Gravity is the attraction between objects.
Mass is the amount of matter in am object.
Distance is a measure of length from a single point to an end point.
As the teacher circulates, student understanding of mass vs. weight, matter, and gravity are probed. Sample questions:
- How is mass different than weight?
- What is the heavy feeling?
- As you stand closer to someone, do you feel "attracted"?