Investigating Friction

This lesson allows small groups to investigate the movement of toy cars on a variety of surfaces to observe the effects of friction and slope on speed. It suggests a video from YouTube or Discovery Education as an introductory activity. If YouTube is unavailable, consider using another video on forces and motion. Consider allowing students more flexibility in the design of the experiment to encourage inquiry.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.1
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.5.1
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.5.2
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.6.1
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.6.2
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.6.3
Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.1
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.5
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a...
GLE 0401.1.1
Demonstrate knowledge of Standard English usage, mechanics, and spelling.
GLE 0407.11.2
Design a simple investigation to demonstrate how friction affects the movement of an object.
GLE 0501.1.1
Demonstrate knowledge of Standard English usage, mechanics, and spelling.
GLE 0601.1.1
Demonstrate control of Standard English through the use of grammar and mechanics (punctuation, capitalization, and spelling).
GLE 0601.3.1
Write in a variety of modes for different audiences and purposes.
GLE 0601.3.2
Employ various prewriting strategies.
GLE 0601.3.3
Organize ideas into an essay with an introduction, developing paragraphs, conclusion, and appropriate transitions.
GLE 0601.3.4
Refine strategies for editing and revising written work.
GLE 0601.4.2
Gather relevant information from a variety of print and electronic sources, as well as from direct observation, interviews, and surveys.
GLE 0601.4.3
Make distinctions about the credibility, reliability, consistency, strengths, and limitations of resources, including information gathered from websites.
SPI 0501.1.2
Identify the correct use of verbs (i.e., action/linking, regular/irregular, agreement, tenses) within context.
SPI 0601.1.1
Identify the correct use of nouns (i.e., common/proper, singular/plural, possessives) and pronouns (i.e., agreement, subject, object) within context.
SPI 0601.1.10
Identify the correct spelling of plurals and possessives.
SPI 0601.1.18
Identify correctly and incorrectly spelled words in context.
SPI 0601.3.1
Identify the purpose for writing (i.e., to inform, to describe, to explain, to persuade).
SPI 0601.3.5
Select illustrations, descriptions, and/or facts to support key ideas.
SPI 0601.3.8
Select appropriate time-order or transitional words/phrases to enhance the flow of a writing sample.
SPI 0601.3.9
Select an appropriate concluding sentence for a well-developed paragraph.
TSS.ELA.5.FL.SC.6
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when speaking and conventions of standard English grammar and usage, including...
TSS.ELA.6.L.CSE.1
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage.
TSS.ELA.6.L.CSE.2
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. When reading or writing, explain the functions of...
TSS.ELA.6.L.KL.3
When writing and speaking, vary sentence patterns for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style; maintain consistency in style and tone.
TSS.ELA.6.W.PDW.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
TSS.ELA.6.W.PDW.5
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new...
TSS.ELA.6.W.TTP.1
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
TSS.ELA.6.W.TTP.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of...
TSS.ELA.6.W.TTP.3
Write narratives (fiction and nonfiction) to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective techniques, relevant descriptive details, and...
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 
  • The students will demonstrate an understanding of the terms: force, gravity, friction, and speed. 
  • The students will experiment with the effects of friction on speed and motion. 
  • The students will understand that friction and other forces have an effect on speed and motion.
  • The students will use appropriate language to express their thoughts and ideas. 
  • The students will also work cooperatively in small groups.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Understanding

Helpful Hints

Materials and Resources:

  • Books, blocks, or other stacking materials 
  • 36" x 12" (1 m x 30.5 cm) pieces of smooth plywood or other sturdy, flat material, 1 per group 
  • Small toy cars with moving wheels, one per student group 
  • Pennies, washers, or other small uniform objects with weight, 6 per student group 
  • Tape 
  • 1-foot (30.5 cm) sheets of heavy duty sand paper, 3 per student group 
  • 3-foot (1 m) sheets of wax paper, 1 per student group 
  • 3-foot (1 m) sheets of bubble wrap, 1 per student group
  • Pencils and erasers 
  • Science journals or writing paper 
  • Stop watch (or watch with second hand), 1 per student group 
  • Meter stick, 1 per student group

References

Contributors: