Materials List: stack of books for each group; various materials for securing book such as string, yarn, large rubber bands; various materials to use as book movers such as empty boxes, trash bags, or pieces of plastic; lengths of rope; carpet squares, etc; chart paper; markers
This activity may take 2 days to complete.
Have students discuss the different ways an object (matter) can move, such as bouncing, rolling, tumbling, sliding, etc. Have students discuss the various types of force needed (pushing/pulling) to move an object.
Investigation Task: Provide students with a stack of books and the materials collected to use as book movers. Explain that the task is to move the books a determined distance without carrying them. Provide the collected materials but do not offer any suggestions on how to use them to move the books. In cooperative groups students are to come up with a plan to move the books the given distance. Students may use one or more of the provided materials or something they come up with on their own. Once a plan has been devised, students need to gather needed materials to execute the plan. Students measure and mark the distance on the floor using masking tape. Finally, gather students to watch as each group tests their plan to see if they can move their stack of books the distance given.
Discuss each plan to see which one worked the fastest without spilling the books. Discuss if it was faster to push or pull the books.
Make a class Venn diagram of things you push or move away from you (a chair that needs to be put back under a table before a student leaves for recess, light switches up or down, a hot wheels car along a path), pull or move toward you (fan strings, a brush through your hair), or both push and/or pull (such as a grocery carts, doors). Explain choices based on personal experiences.