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Lesson 8: How are force and motion

I can describe how force and motion are related

What do we know about forces?

We have been studying about the force between

magnets and statically charged objects.
What did we find out about forces when the objects are
not in contact with each other?
How do you think forces act on objects when they are in
contact with on each other?

A chair
Move a chair to a place in the room where it is visible by all.
Ask a student volunteer to come and apply a small force to the
Did the chair move?
How do we know the chair is in motion? (The chair changed

How a chair moves

We know that an object is in motion when it changes
position. The chair moves from one location to another
Did the student use a push or a pull?
How could the student apply the other type of force?
pull if originally a push,
push if originally a pull

Strength of the force- as a variableit can change things

How would you describe the strength of the push/pull
given by the student? Small force
How does the motion of the chair change based on the
strength of the push/pull? (It moved a little.)
How could we make the chair move more? (Apply more

Strength as a force


Strength of push or pull

Small force

Small force and small strength

Moves a little

Large force and big strength

Add more strength to the push of

your chair
Was there more force? Less force?
What was the effect?

Variable 2- DIRECTION of the force

What direction was the chair pushed or pulled? (It was
pushed away or pulled toward the student)
In what direction did the chair move when given the
push/pull? (The chair moves in the same direction that
the push or pull is applied.
How could we get the chair to move in a different
direction? (Give a push or pull in the same direction we
want it to go.

Strength as a force


If the direction is a push

Pushes AWAY

If the direction is a pull


Push or Pull

Moves in that direction

Variable equal force

Next, have two students try to apply equal force on
opposite sides of the chair.
Ask, Is force being applied to the chair? (Yes, two forces)
Is the chair moving? (No)
What does that tell us about the two forces? (They are
pushing with the same amount of force but in opposite

Equal force
If two students are pushing with the same amount of
force and in opposite directions the force will be equal

Unbalanced Forces- variable

Have one student push harder on the chair than the
other student. Ask, Describe what is happening now?
(The chair moves in one direction.) What caused the
chair to move? (One force is greater than the other
force, so the chair moves in the direction of the greater
force applied.
If the object being pushed moves from rest, then the
forces are unbalanced.

Balanced (equal) and unbalanced

(unequal) forces
Have student volunteers demonstrate a few scenarios of
balanced and unbalanced forces.
Ask, Are the forces balanced or unbalanced? What
evidence do you have?

Rule for balanced and unbalanced

If the forces are balanced, there is no movement.
If the object moves in either direction, the forces are

Net Force
Model for students by using arrows to indicate the direction and strength of a push or pull
using diagrams of Student A and Student B pushing on a chair for both balanced and
unbalanced forces (Diagram examples attached).
Red arrows show strength of force applied by Student A and Student B.
Short arrow for small force and long for a big force drawn in the direction that each student
If the forces are balanced the red arrows will be equal in both directions.
If not, use a green arrow to indicate the sum of the two forces. Explain to students that
scientists use arrows to indicate direction and strength of forces acting on an object to
describe motion.
The length of the red arrows indicate the size of the push or pull applied to the object.
If the object changes it motion (indicated by a change in position), a green arrow is used to
show the sum of all the forces applied to the object which scientists call net force.
The green arrow also shows the direction of the net force and therefore the change in motion.

Next, hold a book (or other object) in the air and let it
fall to the ground. Ask students, What caused the book
fall to the floor? (Gravity is pulling the book down.)
Have students stand up by their desks with a book
balanced on their hand, palm up and ask, Why is the
book not falling to the floor if gravity is pulling it down?
(Students might say they are holding the book up.)

Gravity Drawing it in our journals

Ask students to turn and discuss all the forces being
applied to the book they are holding and share their
Create a diagram showing the book on their hand.
Explain that gravity is the force pulling the object down
(draw a red downward arrow to show the pull of gravity)
and there is an equal force from their hand pushing the
book up (draw an equal upward red arrow to show the
push up from their hand.)

Vocabulary added to our journals

net force,

Concepts we learned
How are force and motion related? (Motion is a change
in position. A force is any push or a pull on an object.
Net force is the total pushes and pulls applied to the
When the total forces acting on an object are balanced
it has a net force of zero so it does not change its
If the total forces acting on the object are unbalanced
then it has net force of more than zero and its motion
will change.

What forces are acting on the

boards in this photo?
The pull of gravity and the pressure of the concrete

IN which direction do these forces

Gravity pulls the boards downward.
The concrete blocks push the boards upward.
Since the forces act in opposite directions they are
The strengths are the same.
If gravity were stronger, the boards would be falling to
the ground.

Your body
Are there any forces acting on your body now?
Yes, gravity is pulling you downward.
What else?

Balanced Forces
The chair is applying a force in the direction opposite to
gravity to hold you up.
Gravity is a force that pulls one object toward another
Earths gravity pulls all objects toward the planets

Hold a book up to feel this

What does it feel like to hold the book up?
What does it feel like to push on the book?
Now hold the book up for 3 minutes?
What happens? Your muscles start to fatiguebecause
gravity is acting on the book, and the opposite force is
you holding it upit stays up until you run out of

Foss Video Go to Motion, Force and Models. DigitalOnly Resources tab. Click on Streaming Videos menu,
and select Wagon Video then, Soccer Video and
Ball on a Table Video as prompted in the Technology
Connection Lesson.

Wagon video on Foss Web

Review with students by asking, How are force and motion related?
Explain that they will view a short video clip and discuss what is happening in terms
of the relationship between force and motion.
First, show Wagon Video and pause after the question is asked, How can you get
the wagon to move? Allow students to share their ideas. Pause again after the next
How can you get it to stop? Allow students to share.
Next ask, What do scientists mean when they say, a force is applied? (an object is
given a push or pull)
What happens when more force is applied in the direction the wagon is already
moving? (The wagon will go faster.)
What happens when a small push or pull is given in the opposite direction the
wagon is moving? (The force will slow the wagon down.)

Exit Slip
Do you think a board would break if you dropped a
quarter on it?

No, the quarter would not apply enough force to break
the board.

Exit Slip
What causes something to move?

The hand applied a force to the object that caused the
net force to no longer be equal to zero. This resulted in
the downward force that caused the object to move.

What is unbalanced?
The forces acting on an object do not add up to zero.
There is a stronger force in one direction than the
What happens is the object that was NOT moving will
now start to move.

Changing Direction
You need to understand that forces can change an
objects speed or direction.
When you apply an unbalanced force to a soccer ball
with your foot, the ball will move.
If the ball is already moving and you apply a force, the
unbalanced force can stop, slow down, speed up, or
change the direction of the objects motion.

Forces that do not add to zero can cause changes in the
objects speed or direction of motion.
A soccer player applies an unbalanced force to the ball
by having a foot come into contact with the ball and
pushing it as it is kicked.
The net force applied to the ball causes the ball to go
away from the foot in the same direction as the foot is

Direction can move if..

The object (ball) is slowed down by the foot
If the foot stopped for a fraction of a second and sped
The ball can change the strength of the force when
someone applies a kick to it
A strong force to the ball will cause it to move faster
A weaker force to the ball will cause it to move only a

Exit Slip
Are the forces balanced or unbalanced? How do you
Tug of war rope moving
Ball in flight
Wagon moving

In what ways can forces change an

objects motion? Circle 2.