How Things Move: A 3rd Grade Unit of Study on Forces & Motion

Chrystal Cavanagh, Science, Grand Oak Elementary

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


This curriculum unit is designed for elementary students to build a basic understanding of Newton’s Three Laws of Motion. The unit spans ten days and includes eight mini-lessons that teach physical science-specific vocabulary terms, five hands-on lessons, one personalized learning pathway and an assessment piece. The unit is specifically designed with a young child’s desire and motivation to learn through movement and physical activity. It incorporates sports such as running, basketball and soccer into the science curriculum. Through the activities, students will apply what they have learned about forces, friction, mass and speed. The integration of reading, writing, and diagramming in a science notebook is the backbone of each lesson. The personalized learning approach is integrated as students work independently on their pathway. This pathway includes reading, writing, explorations and technology as choices for students to make connections to the learning they have done in class.