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The Science Teacher




In this activity, a question is posed to second-grade students and they are asked to make predictions to answer it: “How will different surfaces affect the distance a toy vehicle travels?” Students observe how different surfaces affect the distance traveled by a toy car and are able to amend their predictions. They are then asked to think of reasons why the vehicle was affected the way it was. During this stage of the lesson, students are led to contemplate their understandings of science concepts, and teachers are able to assess changes in student understanding as a result of discussions and writings. Prior to this lesson, students learned how friction creates heat energy but had not discussed how the force of friction can affect the motion of an object. We broke this lesson up over three days (Table 1).


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