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Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons

Salem State University: Faculty Publications 2020

Dennis Rosemartin

Rosemartin, D. S. (2020). Fun with forces and motion. Science and Children, 57(7), 51-55.


When I first started teaching fourth-grade science, I remember thinking that some concepts were abstract and difficult to teach. I hear the same concerns among many preservice teachers in my elementary science methods course. What I eventually learned as a teacher—and now teach my students—is that children are already constructing their understanding of science concepts such as forces and motion in their daily activities and games. In this article, I describe a lesson that I teach to preservice teachers and which they have taught to third-grade students. I designed the lesson to incorporate the natural curiosities that emerge through play as a way to engage students in discussions and scientific evaluations of what causes objects to move certain ways. It was developed to focus on the Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) for third-grade physical science (3-PS2), Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions (NGSS Lead States 2013). This lesson is taught during a 75-minute college class period. I model each phase and include the reasoning behind the activities. I also highlight moments when students engage in the activity in a way that their elementary students would. I use the 5E instructional model (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate) to teach this lesson.


Rosemartin, D. S. (2020). First year teacher survival kit: Seven things that will help you succeed. New Teacher Advocate, 27(4), 2-3.