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What are Forces?

Richland Academy / Making Learning Visible  / What are Forces?

What are Forces?

The Grade 3 students are exploring forces and started by watching a video on National Geographic’s top natural disasters.  The students tied their learning to structures, noting that some well-built structures in the world have been destroyed in minutes by natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis.  The children brainstormed many words to describe the different disasters that they watched unfold such as powerful, strong, pushing, pulling, pressuring, and dangerous.  We discussed the recession of sea water after a tectonic shift and how the water receded and then formed a tremendous tsunami wave.  One student noted Wow, the water is a bit like an elastic in a sling shot…..it pulls back and then it flings forward with a lot of energy”  

The students worked in a Knowledge Building circle to  share their thoughts on the question “What are forces, and how are they connected to natural disasters?”  Many interesting ideas were brought up, and will be added to our “forces” Knowledge Building board.  Some questions that the children are interested in researching are:

  • Are there other ways we can use forces?
  • What causes the Earth to push together (tectonic plates colliding)? Why does the Earth’s crust shift?
  • How are natural forces made?
  • Is gravity a force? How does it work?
  • Would forces be strong without gravity?

Over the next few weeks, we will be conducting experiments in order to further our understanding of forces by adding to our theories, as well as discrediting any theories which we initially had, but might need changing.  The science lab will become a new hub for the Grade 3 students as they use hands on experimentation and the Scientific Method to answer the question of the hour….. “What are forces?”

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