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Lesson Title: Gravity Games
May 11, 2012

Unit: Physical Science - Gravity

Grade Levels: 4-6

Connection To Curriculum: Science and Mathematics

Teacher Prep Time: 1.5 hours

Lesson Time Needed: 9 hours

Complexity Moderate

Keywords: friction, gravity, inertia, energy, microgravity, marble, toy, motion, sports, games, center of mass, center of gravity


Multiple half pieces of copper pipe insulation (gray, spongy) each 6 ft long
Masking tape
½-in.-diameter PVC segments ¾ in. long
Round balloons
One-hole #2 rubber stoppers
Hot glue guns and glue
Metal washers
Paper punch
Short dowels
Swivel chair
Two hand weights (2 to 3 lb)
Cellophane tape
Cardstock boomerangs
Assorted toys, matching toys in space video clips

This lesson guide integrates a series of activities designed to demonstrate gravity's role in recreation.

Students will:
• Demonstrate the use of gravity as an energy source for motion.
• Identify aspects of gravity involved in various common games.
• Develop modifications to overcome the effect of microgravity on toys.

First page of Gravity Games

Lesson Guide
Gravity Games Lesson
[109KB PDF file]



Professional Development Training Module for This Lesson

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Lesson Activities and Sequence The suggested sequence starts by introducing the need for gravity in recreation and progresses to studying different aspects of gravity's effects and modifying tasks to account for microgravity.

  1. Marble Run
    Students use marbles and flexible pipe insulation to create roller-coaster style tracks.
    Keywords: gravity, marble, toy, inertia, motion
  2. Spaced Out Sports
    Students perform a series of activities to explore aspects of gravity's effect on games. The first four activities are relevant to this lesson.
    Keywords: gravity, sports, games, center of mass, center of gravity
  3. Toys In Space
    Students explore the effects of microgravity on toys and create modifications to them during a videoconference event.
    Keywords: gravity, inertia, weight, mass, period, periodic motion

National Standards:

National Science Education Standards, NSTA
Science as Inquiry
• Skills necessary to become independent inquirers about the natural world.
Physical Science
• Motions and Forces.
• Transfer of energy.
Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
• Science and technology in society.

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, NCTM
Number and Operations
• Perform operations with multi-digit whole numbers and with decimals to hundredths.
Measurement and Data
• Represent and interpret data.
Expressions and Equations
• Reason about and solve one-variable equations and inequalities.


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