Elementary School, Physics Lesson Plans (18 results)

Physics is the study of matter — what is it made of? How does it behave? What laws or equations describe it? From subatomic particles, to the Big Bang, modern physicists study matter at a tremendous range of scales. There's a whole lot of interesting physics at the human scale, too.

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Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd
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1 review
Forces, which we might instinctively describe as pushes and pulls, are acting on us at all times, but we cannot always see them. This hands-on lesson offers a fun opportunity to explore "invisible" forces like gravity and air resistance. Students will build parachutes and investigate how they allow skydivers to safely land. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-PS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 1st
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2 reviews
Young students know that they can hear sounds, but do they know what causes sounds? In this lesson they will learn that sounds are caused by vibrations, and they will build a fun musical instrument of their own. In the Sound and Vibrations 2: Make Sprinkles Dance, students will learn that sounds can also cause vibrations. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 1-PS4-1. Plan and conduct investigations to provide evidence that vibrating materials can make sound and that sound can make materials vibrate.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
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Can your students lift a book off the floor with just one finger? Find out and learn about simple machines in this fun lesson plan about levers. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 1st
Can you make something move by using only sound? Your students will find out in this lesson plan as they explore the connection between sound and vibrations. This is the second in a pair of lessons about sound. Click here for the first lesson. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 1-PS4-1. Plan and conduct investigations to provide evidence that vibrating materials can make sound and that sound can make materials vibrate.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 1st
In this lesson, students explore firsthand what transparent, translucent, and opaque mean, and how they are related to light. They will place a variety of materials in front of an illuminated object and predict if and how well they will be able to see the object through the material sheet. In doing that, students will realize that different materials allow different amounts of light to pass through. Remote learning: This lesson plan can be conducted remotely. The Engage section of the… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 1-PS4-3. Plan and conduct investigations to determine the effect of placing objects made with different materials in the path of a beam of light.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd
Do your students think making things float in mid-air is a magic trick? Show them how you can do it with science! In this lesson plan they will learn about interactions between magnets and figure out how to make them float. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-PS2-3. Ask questions to determine cause and effect relationships of electric or magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 2nd
When discussing material properties, most of us usually think of solid materials and material properties such as hardness, flexibility, or strength. However, liquids are characterized by distinct properties, too. Some of these properties overlap with those of solids, like density or transparency, but others are more specific to liquids. Viscosity—the resistance of a fluid to flow—and surface tension, are two examples of properties that are specifically used to characterize liquids.… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 2-PS1-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 4th
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If you love doing arts and crafts with your students, this lesson plan is for you! Teach them about energy, electricity, and circuits as they build light-up sculptures, using something they are all familiar with—play dough! Clear step-by-step instructions are provided and no previous experience with circuits is required. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 4-PS3-2. Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 1st
We see ourselves in a mirror because mirrors reflect light. Light interacts with materials in different ways; for instance, shiny surfaces like mirrors are able to change the direction of light. In this lesson plan, students will demonstrate how light bounces off a reflective surface by redirecting a light beam from a flashlight to different locations within the classroom. Students will then be challenged to use their knowledge about mirrors to find a way to guide a light beam to a specific… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 1-PS4-3. Plan and conduct investigations to determine the effect of placing objects made with different materials in the path of a beam of light.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
Teach your students about the engineering design process with this fun lesson plan. They will design and build a ball-launching machine to knock down a target. Optionally, they can enter their designs in the 2020 Fluor Engineering Challenge for a chance to win a cash prize for your school! Teachers, note that middle school and high school versions of this lesson plan are also available, as is a Spanish language version of the basic challenge. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
  • 3-PS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.
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