The centerpiece of my force and motion unit are the lab activities that we do in class as well as the notes that are kept in the students interactive notebooks. If you are a science teacher you already know the value of interactive notebooks (also called ISN’s or INB’s).
Interactive notebooks help to compartmentalize thoughts and ideas and allow the students to connect their learning in a much more valuable way. This entire set of force and motion interactive notebook pages can be downloaded for use with your students. You can also download free force and motion sample pages.
The first page within the book combines all of the vocabulary for the force and motion unit. I like to do the vocabulary up front so that we can use it as a reference throughout the unit. The words included on the flippable are force, speed, acceleration, velocity, inertia, unbalanced force, balanced force, friction, and work. I have also included a blank template that so that you can add any words that you want to your unit on force and motion.
The next few pages are dedicated to the difference between speed and acceleration and how to calculate average speed problems. The first page in this series allows the student to compare and contrast speed and acceleration. I give them the definitions after some inquiry about what they believe each of them are.
We then discuss how to calculate average speed using the distance/time formula, and also what acceleration would look like on a graph. There are two main types of average speed problems that my students will face. They will see word problems or they will have to solve them by reading a distance-time graphs. The next flippable provides two examples of each of those types of problems that my students can reference during the force and motion unit. I’m a firm believer in making sure that students have a place that I can refer them to when they are faced with a hangup about how to work a certain kind of problem.
The next series of pages are dedicated to Newton’s Laws. The first page allows you to highlight Isaac Newton and then define his 3 laws. This page will be used often by the students so make sure that you guide them with exactly what each of the laws are so that they make sense when referenced. The next three pages are dedicated to getting more specific with each of the three laws and to provide examples that will help connect the learning. The final page for Newton’s Laws is a card sort activity and the students have to put different scenarios into the correct pocket for each of the three Law’s. If they can do this then I know that they understand Newton’s Laws.
Once we have already learned about motion I like to cover how to graph the motion of a line using distance/time graphs. These types of problems always seem to show up on our state test and there are a lot of fun activities that you can do with this concept. See below for a couple of pages that I use in the science notebook.
The last portion of our force and motion unit deals with balanced and unbalanced forces as well as how to calculate work. I provide the students with several interactive pages for them to use during these lessons and they are required to fill them out along the way. See below for some of the samples from my classroom.
I really like using the science journal in a way that allows kids to enjoy their learning. I do these activities with 8th graders and if they like them, then anyone will like them. You can download the force and motion science journal templates from my TPT store.