• Elementary Science Grade 5 Unit 2

    Subject:  Science
    Grade:  5
    Timeline:  12 weeks
    Unit/Module Title:  Force and Motion

    Unit Overview: 
    In this unit students explore the physics of motion and design and apply these to a technological design.  Students discover that force is the push or pull on an object and that an unbalanced force is needed to make an object start or stop moving or to change direction.  Students explore friction, resistance, and energy as they create models to test and adapt for efficiency of design.

    Unit Objectives:
    The objectives of this unit are to apply the Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) Crosscutting Concepts that bridge disciplinary boundaries, uniting core ideas throughout the fields of science and engineering.
    Patterns:  Similarities and differences in patterns can be used to sort,classify, communicate and analyze simple rates of change for natural phenomena.
    Cause and Effect:  Cause and effect relationships are routinely identified, tested, and used to explain change.
    Scale, proportion, and quantity:  Standard units are used to measure and describe physical quantities such as weight , time, temperature and volume.
    Systems and System Models:  A system can be described in terms of its components and their interactions.
    Energy and Matter:  Energy can be transferred in various ways and between objects. 
    Influence of Engineering, Technology, and Science on Society and the Natural World. Engineers improve existing technologies or develop new ones to increase their benefits, decrease known risks, and meet societal demands.
    Focus Standards:

    PSSA Eligible Content:
    S8.A.1.1.2: Explain how certain questions can be answered through scientific inquiry and/or technological design.
    S8.A.1.1.3: Use evidence, such as observations or experimental results to support inferences about a relationship. S8.A.1.1.4: Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence.
    S8.A.2.1.4: Interpret data/observations; develop relationships among variables based on data/observations to design  models as solutions.
    S8.A.2.1.5: Use evidence from investigations to clearly communicate and support conclusions.
    S8.A.2.1.6: Identify a design flaw in a simple technological system and devise possible working solutions.
    S8.A.2.2.2: Apply appropriate measurement systems to record and interpret observations under varying conditions.
    S8.A.3.1.1: Describe a system as a group of related parts with specific roles that works together to achieve an observed result.
    S8.A.3.2.2: Describe how engineers use models to develop new and improved technologies to solve problems.
    S8.C.2.1.1: Distinguish among forms of energy and sources of energy.
    S8.C.3.1.1: Describe forces acting on objects.
    S8.C.3.1.2: Distinguish between potential and kinetic energy.
    S8.C.3.1.3: Explain that the mechanical advantages produced by simple machines helps to do work by either overcoming a force or changing the direction of the applied force.
    NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas:
    PS3.C: Relationships Between Energy and Forces. When objects collide, the contact forces transfer energy so as to change the objects motion.
    PS3.D: Energy in Chemical Processes and Everyday Life. The expression "produce energy"  typically refers to the conversion of stored energy into a desired form for practical use.
    ETS1.A: Defining Engineering Problems. Possible solutions to a problem are limited by available materials. The success of a designed solution is determined by considering the desired solution. Different proposals for solutions can be compared on the basis of how well each one meets the specified criteria for success or how well each takes the constraints into account.   

    Concepts - Students will know:
    • types of forces and their relationship to motion.
    • how forces affect motion within simple machines.
    • different forms of energy.
    Competencies -Students will be able to:
    • explain that force is a push or pull on an object.
    • recognize that an unbalanced force is necessary to make a resting object move, bring a moving object to rest, or to change the direction of a moving object.
    • recognize that friction is a force that opposes motion.
    • compare load and effort.
    • explore the effect of forces in simple machines.
    • explain how all energy can be considered to be kinetic or potential.
    • recognize that energy is a property of many substances and is associated with multiple forms (e.g. electrical, mechanical, heat, light, sound, nuclear).
    • recognize that energy can be stored and released to make an object move.

     Formative Assessments:
    • Pre-assessment
    • Note-booking
    • Class discussions
    • Teacher observations
    • Performance tasks
    • Formative assessment probes
    Summative Assessments:
    • Performance Assessments with rubrics
    • Post-assessment 

    Elements of Instruction:
    The NGSS identifies eight Science and Engineering Practices.  The three that follow apply to this unit.  
    Asking Questions and Defining Problems:
    Asking questions and defining problems in 3-5 builds on grades K-2 experiences and progresses to specify qualitative relationships.
    • Define a simple design problem that can be solved through the development of an object, tool, process or system and includes several criteria for success and constraints on materials, time or cost.
    Planning and Carrying Out Investigations:
    Planning and carrying out investigations to answer questions or test solutions to problems in 3-5 builds on K-2 experiences and progresses to include investigations that control variables and provide evidence to support explanations or design solutions.
    • Plan and conduct and investigations collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence, using fair tests in which variables are controlled and the number of trials considered.
    Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions:
    Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 3-5 builds on K-2 experiences and progresses to the use of evidence in constructing explanations that specify variables that describe and predict phenomena and in designing multiple solutions to design problems.
    • Generate and compare multiple solutions to a problem based on how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the design problem.

    Each lesson has differentiation options for each portion of the lesson.
    •  Use word walls and flip charts
    •  Structured notebooks
    •  Peer teaching


    • Students can design their own experiments
    • Explore similar topics
    • Share topics with a younger class

    Interdisciplinary Connections: 
    Students research and write about the invention of the wheel in ancient civilizations (ELA, Social Studies)
    Students research and write about various load bearing vehicles, including how they are different from each other. (ELA, Social Studies)
    Students conduct research to find out how the design of the automobile has changed over time.  Ask students to create a timeline to show these changes. (ELA, Social Studies)

      Additional Resources / Games:
      Science/Literacy Kit
      Motion and Design Readers
      Kids Discover: The Wright Brothers