TITLE: MOVEMENT AUTHOR: DEBORAH HERNDON, IXL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, ARKANSAS CITY, KS GRADE LEVEL: 3-4 OVERVIEW: Students from the middle grades are ready to begin experimentation as a method for solving problems. This activity will have them identify variables, and test a variable for its effect on moving a marble. PURPOSE: To involve students in identifying variables and planning experiments to test the effect of a variable. OBJECTIVES: As a result of this activity, the students will: 1. OBSERVE marbles rolling down a ramp. 2. IDENTIFY VARIABLES that could be causing the marble to roll faster or farther. 3. TEST changing one variable to see what results it will have. 4. RECORD appropriate data. 5. ANALYZE the data to make a concluding statement about the changed variable. ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURES: 1. Introduction This activity could be introduced at the beginning of a unit on movement or as a part of an ongoing unit on how technology advances. Demonstrate a marble rolling down a ramp. Ask the students to make observations. Discuss what could make the marble roll faster? farther? List all possible variables. Decide on one variable to test, and make a prediction as to the results of that one change. Discuss what measurement would be appropriate for the situation and tools available. In an elementary classroom and considering the small amount of time it takes a marble to roll down a ramp, measuring how far the marble goes is more appropriate. 2. Small group experiment --The following form can be generated by the students or given to them with any or all parts as places to "fill-in", depending on your emphasis. RAISE THE RAMP!! PLAN: We want to see how far a marble will roll after coming down a ramp. We will try to change the height of the ramp to make it roll faster. CONSTANTS VARIABLE -------------------------------------- size of marble weight of marble height of ramp same ramp surface RESOURCES/MATERIALS: 10 books (each about 1 cm. thick), meterstick, marble, ramp (made of a cardboard tube form wrapping paper. (Materials for the experiment as listed, with enough for each small group.) PROCEDURE: 1. Set up the ramp with 4 books on a flat surface. 2. Hold the marble at the top of the ramp and let it roll. 3. Use the meterstick to measure how far the marble rolls from the end of the ramp. 4. Record your results. 5. Raise the ramp to 7 books and repeat steps #2-#4. 6. Raise the ramp to 10 books and repeat steps #2-#4. RESULTS: _ramp______l_trial# 1__l_trial #2__l__trial #3_l _4 books___l___________l___________l___________l _7 books __l___________l___________l___________l _10 books__l___________l___________l___________l CONCLUSION: __( The greater incline of the higher will cause the marble to roll faster, unless the incline becomes so steep that the smooth roll of the marble is interrupted) ____________________________ TYING IT ALL TOGETHER This provides a good basis of understanding for further studies of motion. Interaction is a basic science concept. Students should become aware of interactions and the causes/ effects of those interactions.
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