Activity Overview

Force can be calculated using Newton’s 2nd Law, force = mass x acceleration or F=ma. This means if there is a resultant force, then the velocity will change. In this assignment, students will draw force diagrams of a car moving in three different ways. The car is traveling at a constant speed (balanced), accelerating, and decelerating. Students should be reminded to be mindful about the direction and the length of the arrows, and use consistent color coding and labeling throughout their diagrams.

In order to differentiate this to challenge your more advanced students, introduce a scenario where the car is on a slope. This way, students won't just be looking at forces that are either vertical or horizontal.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

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 "Start 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.

Lesson Plan Reference


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Draw and Label Forces
Draw and label a force diagram for the given situation.
50 Points
25 Points
0 Points
Force Arrows and Labels
  • All of the force arrows are in the correct direction and have the correct length.
  • All of the forces are labeled.
  • All of the force arrows are in the correct direction.
  • Most of the forces are labeled.
  • Some of the force arrows are in the correct direction.
  • Some of the forces are labeled.
  • Evidence of Effort
    Work is well written and carefully thought out.
    Work shows some evidence of effort.
    Work shows little evidence of any effort.

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    Introduction to Forces

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