Lesson plan

Playground forces and energy transformations

Use playground equipment, balls and other materials, outdoors, to learn about forces.
Science content
Physics: Motion and Forces, Newton’s Laws, Gravity (K, 2, 6)
Physics: Energy forms, Conservation of Energy (1, 3, 4, 5)

Review what a force is at an age appropriate level:
A force is something that can move an object, or stop it from moving; a push or a pull (demonstrate).
Sometimes a force happens when things are in contact with each other (demonstrate hand pushing on ground). Sometimes the force does not contact the object it moves e.g. gravity. Demonstrate by throwing a ball in the air - contact force of my hand pushing the ball up, then non-contat force of gravity pulling the ball back down.

Students then experiment with forces.
If using the playground equipment, stations work well - two or three stations on different pieces of equipment, then another couple of stations with balls, and maybe the balancing pole activity.

Grades taught
Gr 1
Gr 2
Gr 4
Gr 5