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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.
10 Popular Physics Science Projects
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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.
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: Kindergarten-3rd
Computational thinking is a problem-solving process that is used in everyday life as well as computer programs. In this lesson, students apply their computational thinking skills to explore the life cycle of a butterfly. They'll create an algorithm, or set of instructions, to model the life cycle of a butterfly. They will write this algorithm using conditionals and then program it on a computer. Learning Objectives Students will: Analyze the life cycle of a butterfly. Develop an algorithm… Read more
Lesson Plan Grade: 1st
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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.
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. See Sound and Vibrations 1: Rubber Band Guitar 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.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd
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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.
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.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd
Everybody and everything that is opaque has a shadow. Shadows are fun to play with because you can change their shape and size or even make them disappear. In this lesson, students will first explore how shadows are made and how their appearance can be changed. Then students will use their gained knowledge to create and perform a shadow play. Remote learning: Part 1 on this lesson plan can be conducted remotely. The Engage section of the lesson can be done over a video call, then students can… 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.
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.
Video Lesson Grade: 1st
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Students know that sounds can be heard, but do they know that some sounds can also be felt and seen? In this lesson, students will learn that vibration causes sound and build a fun musical instrument of their own. 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.
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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