http://www.storyboardthat.com/teacher-guide/introduction-to-forces

Introduction to Forces

Teacher Guide by Oliver Smith

Be sure to check out more of our Science resources!

Introduction to Forces Lesson Plans

Student Activities for Introduction to Forces Include:

Forces, simply put, are pushes and pulls. They can cause things to move, speed up, slow down, change direction, or even change the shape of things. They govern everything in the universe around us. From the largest gravitational forces that hold our universe together, to the forces that keep the smallest particles in atoms together, scientists have spent millennia trying to understand forces.

Introduction to Forces Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

Force Diagrams


Copy Assignment



Have your students create quick, clear, and easy force diagrams using Storyboard That.

Forces are a vector quantity, meaning they have both size and direction. We can represent these forces using an arrow. The direction of the arrow represents the direction of the force and the length of the arrow represents the size of the force. If the forces are balanced, they are said to be equal and opposite. Balanced forces have a resultant (net) force of zero. When there is no resultant force, the object will either travel at a constant speed if it was already moving, or remain stationary if it wasn’t moving. If the forces are unbalanced, then there is a resultant force. If the object was stationary, the resultant force will cause the object to move.

Light Modifications

You can stretch more able students by getting them to draw the resultant forces in each of the examples. You can simplify these diagrams even more by using shapes instead of images of the objects.

In terms of differentiation you can make this task more easily accessible by giving students a list of the forces they need to include in each cell. To stretch your gifted and talented learners, give them more complex situations to draw diagrams for, where the forces don’t lie on the x, y, z axis. An example of this is given in the storyboard with the rappeler.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of force by drawing force diagrams in a range of different contexts. Remember forces have both a size and direction. This means you need to be careful about the direction of the arrow and its length.

  1. Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
  2. The situations on the left are a rocket accelerating upwards, a boat floating in the water, and at the bottom of the bungee cord when the person is stationary.
  3. Use arrows from the shapes menu to add force diagrams to the cells on the right. Change the arrow to make them the correct length and make sure they are pointing in the correct direction.
  4. Label your arrows using Textables.
  5. Underneath your force diagram, write a description of the forces. Say whether they are balanced or unbalanced, and what effect this has on the object's motion.
  6. Save and submit your storyboard. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





Copy Assignment

Start My Free Trial

Forces Vocabulary


Copy Assignment



Have your students put key vocabulary into practice. One of the things students can find really difficult is using scientific vocabulary correctly and in the appropriate context. Using a visual representation or visual examples as well as a written one can really help students understand abstract concepts.


Example Introduction to Forces Vocabulary


Weight

The force due to gravity, measured in Newtons (N). An object's weight depends on its mass and the strength of gravity.


Force

Force is a push or a pull, measured in Newtons (N). It is a vector quantity, meaning it has magnitude and direction.


Lift

Lift is an aerodynamic force created by the wings of an aircraft in an upward direction.


Friction

Friction is a force between two sliding objects that opposes motion.


Mass

Mass is the amount of matter an object has, measured in kilograms (kg).


Other Force Vocabulary Words:

  • Attract
  • Balanced
  • Buoyancy
  • Constant Speed
  • Density
  • Displacement
  • Drag
  • Floating
  • Gravity
  • Lubricant
  • Magnet
  • Oppose
  • Resultant
  • Speed
  • Streamline
  • Terminal Velocity
  • Force Meter (or Newton Meter)

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of key scientific vocabulary by creating visualizations.

  1. Choose five vocabulary words and type them in the title boxes.
  2. Find the definition in a print or online dictionary and write it under the cell.
  3. Illustrate the meaning of the word in the cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
    • Alternatively, use Photos for Class to give examples of the words.
  4. Save and submit your storyboard. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





Copy Assignment

Start My Free Trial

Introduction to Forces Discussion Storyboard


Copy Assignment



Discussion storyboards are a great way to get your students talking about their ideas in Science. They allow students to critique and evaluate different viewpoints without upsetting other students. This activity can be used at the start of the topic to elicit any misconceptions students may have.

At first, show students a discussion storyboard like the one below. Ask them to look at the problem on the discussion storyboard. It shows four students who all have an idea about the problem in front of them. Students should think about whom they think is the most correct and be prepared to explain why that person is correct.

Here are some other ideas to use these discussion storyboards in your lessons.

  1. Students add another cell on the end of the example you’ve given them to explain whom they think is correct and why.
  2. Students create their own discussion storyboards to share with peers on the current topic.

Note that the template in this assignment is blank. After clicking "Copy Assignment", add your desired problem and solutions to match the needs of your students.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Read the discussion storyboard that shows four students who all have an idea about the problem in front of them. You are going to give your opinion on whom you think is correct and explain why.


  1. Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
  2. Add another cell at the end of the row.
  3. Use text and images to explain whom you think is correct and why.
  4. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





Copy Assignment

Start My Free Trial

Types of Forces


Copy Assignment



The are a wide range of forces in many everyday situations that students might not be aware of. Have your students create their own visualizations of a range of different types of forces in a storyboard.

You can make this activity easier or more challenging by changing the number of rows. You could also stretch your most able students by giving them a context, for example, all of the example of these forces need to be found in football

Alternatively, print out the example storyboard and cut it up. Students could then match the force type with the visualization.

Lift is a force associated with air travel. In the case of airplanes and helicopters, this force comes from the shape of the wings (or rotor blades). This shape is known as an airfoil (or aerofoil). It has a special shape which forces the air travelling over the top to move faster than the air moving underneath it. This fast air has lower pressure which causes a result force upwards. When the lift is greater than the weight of the aircraft, it will take off.

Friction is a contact force that occurs between two touching objects. There are lots of times when friction is useful; we wouldn’t be able to walk without it. There are however many times when it isn’t useful. Bobsledding is an example. Engineers spend a lot of time and money trying to reduce the friction of the sleds so they can travel faster along the ice.

Drag is similar to friction, but occurs in fluids, such as air or water. It is proportional to velocity, meaning the faster you travel, the larger the drag. When an object is falling, the drag increases as the speed of the object increases. When the drag is the same size as the weight, the object ceases to increase its speed. This is known as terminal velocity.

Electrostatic force occurs between charged objects. The electrostatic force is the force that sticks a balloon to a wall after you’ve rubbed it on your hair. The force is proportional to the amount of charge, but inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the two objects.

Magnetic force describes both the repelling force of opposite poles, or the attractive force of like poles. This has many uses, from attaching artwork to your refrigerator to moving high speed trains in Japan.

Weight is the force due to gravity. It gets bigger as the mass of an object increases or as the strength of gravity increases. The strength of gravity on the moon is approximately ⅙ of that on Earth, which is why astronauts bounce across the moon like they are on a trampoline!

Thrust is a force used to increase the velocity of an object. It normally comes from an engine.

Upthrust is an upward force that a fluid (a liquid or a gas) applies to an object floating in it.

Tension is the force applied through a wire, string, rope, or cord when it is pulled tight. The force acts along the cord.

Spring force is a force that is applied by a compressed or stretched spring to any object attached to it.

Normal force is a force that is applied to another stable object that is in contact with it. If you have a car on a road, that car is applying a force to the road but the road is also applying a force to the car to counteract its weight.

Applied force is a force which is applied to an object, such as a car towing a trailer.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of forces in real world contexts.

  1. Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
  2. Think of a real world situation for each of the force types.
  3. Illustrate the situation using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
    • Alternatively, use Photos for Class to give examples of the situation.
  4. Add force arrows to represent the forces.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





Copy Assignment

Start My Free Trial

Force and Motion


Copy Assignment



Force can be calculated using Newton’s 2nd Law, F=ma. This means if there is a resultant force, then the velocity will change. In this assignment, students are going to draw force diagrams of a car moving in three different ways.

In the first row the car is travelling at a constant speed, so the force must be balanced; there is no resultant force. The thrust and drag/friction are opposite in direction, but equal in magnitude.

In the second situation, the car is increasing in speed. This means the thrust from the engine must be bigger than the drag forces which oppose motion. Therefore, the thrust arrow needs to be bigger than the drag/friction arrow.

In the last row, the car is slowing down. This is known as negative acceleration or deceleration. For this to happen, there needs to be a resultant force which acts in a direction opposite to the way the car is travelling. Therefore, the drag/frictional forces need to be larger than the forces from the engine.

In order to differentiate this to challenge your more able learners, have the car on a slope. This way they won’t just be looking at forces which are either vertical or horizontal.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of force and the effect it has on motion by drawing force diagrams. Remember forces have both a size and direction. This means you need to be careful about the direction and length of the arrows.

  1. Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
  2. The situations on the left are car traveling at constant speed, car accelerating, and car slowing down.
  3. Use arrows from the shapes menu to add force diagrams to the cells on the right. Change the arrow to make them the correct length and that they are pointing in the correct direction.
  4. Label your arrows using Textables.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





Copy Assignment

Start My Free Trial

Teacher Background on Forces

There are many different types of forces that govern the world around us. They keep the atoms that make us up and all matter around us, they keep our planet orbiting the sun, and they stop our atmosphere from flying off into deep space.

Forces can be separated into two categories: contact and non-contact. Examples of non-contact forces are magnetism and gravity. Examples of contact forces are friction and upthrust.

The unit of force, the newton, is named after the English Scientist, Sir Isaac Newton. Newton is known as one of the most influential scientists ever. Although the story about Newton and the falling apple is likely not true, he was the first scientist to describe gravitational force mathematically. As well as his work on force and motion, Newton also made large contributions to optics, math, and biology.

Forces are vector quantities, meaning they have both a magnitude and direction. We can show forces by drawing force diagrams. With force diagrams we use arrows to show forces. The direction the arrow is pointing shows the direction the force is acting in. The length of the arrow shows the size of the force. It is also useful to label the arrow with name of the force and its size in newtons (N). Storyboard That can be easily used to produce quick and clear force diagrams for a range of different situations.

We can describe forces as being balanced or unbalanced. Balanced forces occur when forces are both equal and opposite. When forces are balanced, objects remain stationary (if they were already stationary) or continue traveling at a constant speed. When the forces are unbalanced, an object will start to move if it was stationary. If the object was already moving, then it will change speed or direction. In the first example below, the airplane would continue to travel in steady flight at a constant speed. This is because the lift has the same magnitude, but is acting in an opposite direction to the weight.

Start My Free Trial

The overall force acting on an object is known as the resultant force. In the example of the airplane above, the ‘balanced forces’ example has no resultant force. In the ‘unbalanced forces’ example, the lift and weight are balanced, but the thrust is a bigger force than the drag. Thus, there will be a resultant force in the direction of the thrust.

Start My Free Trial

It is useful to give a context when talking about forces. Forces on their own can be quite an abstract idea. All your students will have experienced forces in their everyday lives. Explaining forces in a familiar context, such as a car journey or a bike ride, can really help students understand. To challenge your students, give them an unfamiliar and complicated context, such as space. Ask students to look at the force at the different points of an astronaut's journey into space and home again.

Start My Free Trial

Essential Questions for Forces

  1. How are forces and movement related?
  2. What is the difference between contact and non-contact force?
  3. How are forces important in our lives?

Additional Force Lesson Plan Ideas

  1. Make a narrative storyboard showing what the world would be like without friction.
  2. Design a rocket explaining how you could increase the thrust and decrease the friction or drag.
  3. Make a timeline storyboard to show how our ideas of forces have changed over time.

Image Attributions


Help Share Storyboard That!

Looking for More?

Check out the rest of our Teacher Guides and Lesson Plans!


All Teacher Guides and Lesson Plans Ed Tech BlogElementary SchoolMiddle School ELAHigh School ELAForeign LanguageSpecial EdUS History and Social StudiesWorld History

Our Posters on ZazzleOur Lessons on Teachers Pay Teachers
http://www.storyboardthat.com/teacher-guide/introduction-to-forces
© 2017 - Clever Prototypes, LLC - All rights reserved.
Start My Free Trial
Explore Our Articles and Examples

Try Our Other Websites!

Photos for Class – Search for School-Safe, Creative Commons Photos! (It Even Cites for You!)
Quick Rubric – Easily Make and Share Great Looking Rubrics!
Prefer a different language?

•   (English) Introduction to Forces   •   (Español) Introducción a las Fuerzas   •   (Français) Introduction aux Forces   •   (Deutsch) Einführung in die Kräfte   •   (Italiana) Introduzione Alle Forze   •   (Nederlands) Inleiding tot Krachten   •   (Português) Introdução às Forças   •   (עברית) מבוא לכוחות   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) مقدمة للقوات   •   (हिन्दी) सेना का परिचय   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Введение в Силы   •   (Dansk) Introduktion til Kræfter   •   (Svenska) Introduktion Till Krafter   •   (Suomi) Johdanto Joukoille   •   (Norsk) Introduksjon til Forces   •   (Türkçe) Kuvvetlere Giriş   •   (Polski) Wprowadzenie do sił   •   (Româna) Introducere în Forțe   •   (Ceština) Úvod do sil   •   (Slovenský) Úvod do síl   •   (Magyar) Bevezetés a Haderőbe   •   (Hrvatski) Uvod u Snage   •   (български) Въведение в Силите   •   (Lietuvos) Įvadas į Pajėgas   •   (Slovenščina) Uvod v Sile   •   (Latvijas) Ievads Spēkos   •   (eesti) Jõudude Tutvustamine