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Lesson Plan Title : How Fast Does It Fall

Age Range:

Grade 3 through Grade 5 (Elementary School)

Overview and Purpose:

Many people think that heavier objects will fall faster than lighter ones. This experiment gives students a chance to test that theory. They can drop objects from various heights and record their results on a teacher-created worksheet.

Objective:

The student will be able to determine how fast objects of different weights fall when they are dropped from the same height.

Resources:

Teacher created worksheet

One of each of the following items for every two students:

Feathers

Heavy book

Tennis ball

Basketball

Piece of paper

Stopwatch

Activities:

Ask students to use the worksheet to rank the objects in the order from slowest to fastest that they think they will fall to the ground when dropped and to explain their reasoning. Have the students work in pairs to test their theory. Point out that for the test to be effective each object must be dropped from the same height. They can confirm their results by dropping two objects at the same time. Have them reevaluate their rankings and reasoning based on the experiment.

Closure:

More advanced students can explore the role wind plays in how quickly objects fall or can test the theory in water to see if they get the same results.

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