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Activity

Forces in playdough

Summary: 
Students use playdough to show different kinds of forces
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Physics: Motion and Forces, Newton’s Laws, Gravity (K, 2, 6)
Science topic (2005 curriculum connection): 
Physical Science: Force and Motion (grade 1)
Lessons activity is in: 
Materials: 
Procedure: 

Introduce students to the concept of force, if it hasn't been done already: a force is a push or a pull.
Hand out a ball of playdough each (about the size of a golf ball). Show students how to make it into a sausage.
Ask students to bend/twist/manipulate their sausage into a new shape, or simply move it along the desk. They should think of where their fingers apply force to make the new shape/move the play dough to a new position. Ask students to draw the new shape/position, and add arrows to their drawing where forces were applied.
Optional: introduce names for the things that forces can do to an object (push/pull/twist/bend/stretch/tear).
Gather group to show shapes and describe the forces used to make them.

Grades tested: 
Gr 1
Gr 2
Teacher: 
Stephanie Monaghan
Teaching site: 
General Gordon Elementary