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Blockey Koa Crate
from Kea STEMCrate
- 1 Springy Spring Scale per student
Relating Speed and Energy: Da Vinci's Flying Inventions
Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object. [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include quantitative measures of changes in the speed of an object or on any precise or quantitative definition of energy.]
Ask questions and predict outcomes about the changes in energy that occur when objects collide. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the change in the energy due to the change in speed, not on the forces, as objects interact.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include quantitative measurements of energy.]
Engineering Design 3-5-ETS1-2:
Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Color Key: Green words- Hands-on Activity Black words- Book reading Blue words: Revisit the Phenomenon
Instruction day 1 (pages cover - 1): Preview the article
Summary: Introduce the unit.
Lesson Objective: Introduce the chapter topic and author.
Introduction: Let's look at the cover together. Share with a partner anything you recognize or that looks similar to something else you know of in the sketches.
Instructions with Guiding Questions: Read the riddle aloud twice, and have students write their best guesses silently.
Ask: Which phrases of the riddle are most helpful? Are any phrases that are confusing?
Students can share their best guesses with a neighbor then share with the class what they think the answer is and why. Focus on ones that use evidence to support their answer, whether correct or not. (Answer: cheetah)
Then, read about Kylie Jespersen, the scientist who contributed to part of this chapter as an author!
Instruction day 2 (pages 2 - 7): Explore the phenomenon
Summary: Explore the phenomenon.
Lesson Objective: Students test paper airplane designs.
Materials: Mezzi Measuring Tape, scissors, sheets of paper, tape, paper clips.
Introduction: Raise your hand if you've ever tried to make a paper airplane before! We're all going to design some today, and test which ones fly the farthest.
Instructions with Guiding Questions: Select a space in advance where students can test their airplane designs, such as your cafeteria, recreation room, gym, or playground blacktop (if there's no wind outside.) Pick where students will stand as they test their paper airplanes. Guide students through the directions on pages 2-4 while they're still in the classroom. Encourage them to think of these airplanes as their first drafts — they're testing if they can fly, but don't need to worry about getting the very best design on the first try!
Then, take them to the airplane test site. Have them bring their paper marking cones they just made, the paper airplanes they built and Mezzi Measuring Tapes. If you have limited space, you may suggest students form several lines instead of all throwing at once.
After each student has had a chance to throw their airplane about 3 or 4 times, bring students back to the classroom and put them in small groups of 3-4 students to complete pages 5 and 6 together.
Ask: What do you notice about the airplanes flying the farthest? If your airplane didn't fly as far as your classmates', what do you think you might try differently if you built it again?
Example: The airplanes that go farthest have pointy noses and wide wings.
Wrap-Up: Students should save their marking cones, and if possible, their paper airplanes. Have them write their initials somewhere visible on each so they can keep track of which are theirs.
Instruction day 3 (pages 8 - 10): Watch a video, read, write and discuss
Summary: Read about Leonardo's Fantastic Flying Inventions.
Lesson Objective: Students examine the mechanics of birds in flight.
Introduction: Who has heard of Leonardo Da Vinci before? Can anybody share what he's famous for?
More than 500 years ago, Da Vinci made some of the most famous art in the world, like painting the Mona Lisa and sculpting the statue of David. He was also a scientist and inventor.
Instructions with Guiding Questions:: Play the video below (with the sound off or very quiet) while you read pages 8 and 9 as a class. You may ask students to take turns reading a paragraph at a time out loud.
Ask: Why do you think bird species have many different shaped wings?
Example: Not every bird uses its wings for the exact same purpose. Some will be built for speed (like raptors), some for hovering or going long distances (like albatross), and others might want to maneuver (like hummingbirds).
Instruction day 4 (pages 11 - 12): Read and discuss
Summary: Read about Leonardo Da Vinci's flying inventions.
Lesson Objective: Students consider how a machine can successfully fly.
Instructions with Guiding Questions: Read pages 11 and 12 as a class (you might assign a different student to read each paragraph out loud). Pause for students to think of names as you read about each new device and ask a couple students to share their ideas with the class.
At the end of page 12, let students vote by raising their hands for which of the four inventions they think might work best.
Ask: Which invention would you most want to try?
After giving students time to complete the think, pair, share prompt on the bottom of page 12, play the video below from 0:41 seconds to 4:19 (don't play it all the way to the end). The video will automatically start at the correct spot if you copy the link into your web browser.
After, go back to 1:28-1:42 in the video, where the narrator quotes Leonardo Da Vinci as saying that in nature's inventions, "nothing is lacking and nothing is superfluous."
Ask: "Superfluous" means extra. Do you agree with him? Why do you think this matters for inventing a flying machine?
Example: The flying machine could be too heavy to fly if there are things you don't need, but a bird will usually have exactly what it needs and nothing extra because the species wouldn't survive otherwise.
Instruction day 5 (pages 13 - 15):
Summary: Forces on a bird in flight.
Lesson Objective: Identify and give examples of basic forces.
Materials: A piece of paper for every student (scratch paper works well!)
Introduction: If you blow across the top of a piece of paper while you're holding it flat, do you think it would move up or down? Let's try it! (You can watch the video below to see how it's done and pantomime what the students will do, but wait to show it to the students until after they've experimented themselves.)
Blowing across the piece of paper makes one of the same forces that keep a flying bird or an airplane in the air. Today we'll learn more about those forces.
Instructions: Read the pages with the students, then show them the video below (optional). Explain that drag always works in the opposite direction from the way you're moving—so if you drew the forces on someone jumping out of a plane with a parachute and falling straight down, the drag arrow would point up!
Ask: Have you ever felt drag? In what situation(s)?
Example: If I swing a ping pong paddle or a baseball bat, I can feel the paddle or bat slowing down a little as it moves through the air even while I'm still swinging it forward. I can even feel drag if I run really fast with my arms spread out!
Explain: If you turn a ping pong paddle or tennis racket sideways, it will "slice" through the air a lot easier. You reduced the drag! What other examples can you think of?
Ask: Would you weigh more, less, or the same on the moon? Why do you think so?
Example: I would weigh less. When astronauts walk on the moon they are bouncy and seem like they're about to float away because there's less gravity on the moon.
Explain: Because there's so much less gravity on the moon, you actually only weigh about one sixth of your weight on Earth! You can compare that with how much you'd weigh on other planets at this link.
Instruction day 6 (pages 16 - 19): Hands on activity: Build structures with Cubie Blocks!
Summary: Read about the energy of objects in motion or at rest.
Lesson Objective: Students can explain why objects move, slow down or stay still.
Materials: Cubie Blocks
Introduction: If I left my pencil on my desk and never touched it again, do you think it would stay in the same place forever? Would it ever move on its own?
Unless there's an earthquake, or somebody bumps my desk, you probably guessed that the pen will never start moving by itself. It takes a force to make any object in the universe start moving if it's laying completely still.
Instructions with Guiding Questions: Read pages 16 and 17, then take out the Cubie Blocks and give students about 10 minutes to experiment with building their own Roman-style structures. How high can they build?
Ask: How could you knock these structures down without touching them? Where would the force come from?
Example: I could stomp my feet nearby to make the ground vibrate a little, or blow really hard on the blocks near the top or throw something at them.
Then, read pages 18 and 19, pausing at the bottom of each page so students can think, pair and share in response to the prompts.
Ask: Why does the soccer ball not stay in motion forever?
Example: It hits the ground (or the net, or a goalpost). If it rolls on the ground, there's friction from the grass to slow it down until it stops (the video below shows a good example). Even if it's on a surface that seems really smooth, like a bowling alley, it's never perfectly smooth if you look very, very closely and would help grab onto the rolling ball and slow it down.
Instruction day 7 (pages 20 - 22): Read, cut and discuss
Summary: Objects in motion and air resistance.
Lesson Objective: Students explain how air resistance and gravity slow down objects in motion.
Introduction: Have students position themselves so they have plenty of space and won't hit other students, then ask them to try and move their journals quickly through the air with the pages facing the direction they're moving or with the spine facing the direction they're moving. Do they notice the difference in air resistance?
Instructions with Guiding Questions: Read page 20.
Ask: Thinking back to the birds in flight we looked at earlier in the chapter, does anybody remember a force that was similar to air resistance?
Explain: Drag and air resistance are very similar concepts. Air resistance is the reason why there's drag!
Then, have students discuss the questions on page 21 in small groups of 3 students before cutting the flaps to reveal the answers.
Explain: The pull of Earth's gravity keeps the moon orbiting around it, but it doesn't slow down. (Technically this is untrue over very, very long timescales, but students can assume at this level that the moon keeps the same speed forever.)
Instruction day 8 (pages 23 - 25): Read and discuss
Summary: Forces in space.
Lesson Objective: Students identify where air resistance exists (on Earth) and where it doesn't (in outer space).
Instructions with Guiding Questions: Read page 23 as a class, then watch the video below to emphasize that objects in motion really can stay in motion forever unless a force stops them! Without air to slow down the Voyager spacecraft, and without running into anything, it's kept cruising right along through our galaxy for decades without needing any fuel to keep moving forward. Continue reading pages 24 and 25.
Ask: Where do you think the capsule started to be affected by air resistance?
Example: Where the atmosphere starts. There's no air in space.
Ask: Do you think something in space could actually move forward forever? Why or why not?
Example: No, because eventually it will run into something or get pulled off course by the gravity of something it passes by, like a star.
Instruction day 9 (pages 26 - 29): Hands on activity: Paper Airplanes Round 2!
Summary: Build paper airplanes again.
Lesson Objective: Students incorporate what they've learned in the chapter to improve on their first paper airplane design.
Materials: Paper, tape, paper clips, Mezzi Measuring Tape.
Introduction: Let's recap some of what we learned so far! Looking back at page 13 might be useful. Use thumbs up or thumbs down to show whether you think a paper airplane would fly farther or less far with more drag. (Less far). What about more forward motion? (Farther). What about lift? (Farther).
We're going to build more paper airplanes today, and see if we can beat how far our first ones flew! To get inspired, let's see how far the world record paper airplane (so far!) can fly. (Video below)
Instructions: Read pages 26 and 27 and brainstorm ideas in small groups. Give students at least ten minutes to record their discussion notes on page 27, fold a new design, and to sketch their new design on page 28. Then, go back to where you tested the airplanes the first time; bring Mezzi Measuring Tapes again. Students complete page 29 after returning to the classroom.
Ask: How can you influence the force of gravity on your airplane?
Example: Gravity is stronger on heavier things (items with more mass), so making a plane as light as possible helps gravity affect it less.
Ask: What ideas do you have to make your airplane fly even farther if you had more time to experiment?
Example: I'd test different ways of folding the wings to try and get even more lift.
Wrap-up: Ask students to raise their hands if their airplane flew further than the first one they made. You might do a quick round of applause for everyone, then ask students to raise their hands if their airplane flew at least 5 feet, then keep them up if it flew at least 10, then 15, etc. Invite the student who built the airplane that flew the furthest to show the class their design.
Instruction day 10 (pages 30 - 32): Hands on activity: Speeding Down the Ramp with Blocky Kart
Summary: Speed and energy.
Lesson Objective: Students relate an object's speed to its energy.
Materials: Blocky Kart crate and Mezzi Measuring Tape.
Teacher Prep: Click on the "Relating Speed and Energy" lab guide (at bottom) and watch the teacher prep video. Print out copies of the lab worksheets for each student in your class and bring the materials described.
Instructions with Guiding Questions: Read pages 30 and 31 as a class. Depending on what you're studying in your math curriculum, this could be a great chance to ask your students to solve a math problem involving speed! Then, pass out the lab worksheets to students, show them the student prep video and tell them that they're going to experiment with speed and energy.
Explain: We’ll use a ramp at a shallow height first. Start Blocky at the top of the ramp and let go. We’ll use Mezzi measuring tape to see how far Blocky goes. Then we’ll make the ramp steeper, start Blocky at the top of the ramp and let go again and measure again.
Ask: What is your prediction? Will Blocky go further when released from the top of the shallow ramp or the steep ramp? Why?
Example: Blocky will go further when released from the steeper ramp because it will gain more speed, and more energy.
Ask: How much does the surface Blocky rolls onto (carpet, asphalt, hard floor) affect how far he rolls? Is it a lot or a little compared with the ramp angle?
Example: Blocky slows down and stops after a much shorter distance on carpet, but it doesn't change the distance he rolls as much as having the ramp at a high versus low angle.
Finally, put away the supplies and read page 32 as a class.
Wrap-up: Use the margin to draw Blocky rolling down a shallow and steep ramp.
Instruction day 11 (pages 33 - 35): Read, underline and discuss
Summary: Speed, energy and collisions.
Lesson Objective: Observe and interpret energy transfer between objects.
Introduction: Let’s try a quick experiment! Everyone grab a pencil and try dropping it from just a few inches off the ground. Pay attention to how the pencil behaves and how loud it is. Then try dropping it from as high as you can reach while on your tippy toes! You don’t need to throw the pencil, just drop it and pay attention to what happens.
What differences did you notice when you dropped your pencil from higher up? (Example: It makes a louder sound and it bounces further than when I dropped it from just a few inches).
Instructions with Guiding Questions: Read page 33 and the first paragraph of page 34 as a class. Then, play the video below so students can observe an example of a collision and motion energy transferring between a tennis ball and the ground.
Ask: What can you observe about the sound of a pencil dropping, tennis ball bouncing or other collision if the object is moving slow versus fast?
Example: It's much quieter if it's not moving very fast.
Then, give students a few minutes to individually read and underline the paragraphs on pages 34 and 35. Once everyone has finished, go over the answers as a class. You might call on students to read the next thing they underlined, and ask the rest of the class what they thought if a student misses something something or underlined something that is not evidence of energy in motion.
Instruction day 12 (pages 36 - 39): Read, write and discuss
Summary: Play scientific "Would You Rather" and compare evidence of energy transfer.
Lesson Objective: Compare how changes in speed and mass affect energy.
Introduction: We're going to play scientific "Would You Rather!"
Instructions with Guiding Questions: Ask a different student volunteer to read the descriptions of each pair of objects on pages 36 and 37 out loud. Then, give students a minute on their own to decide which one to circle, and go through each pairing as a class so students can vote.
Ask: What else could you use to experiment with speed and energy besides the objects and situations listed here?
Example: I could measure how many spins I can do in ballet when I start very fast or how far I can glide in the pool if I dive in fast versus slow.
Give students time to complete pages 38 and 39 on their own, then have them check their answers in small groups before discussing as a class.
Wrap-Up: Make up your own scientific "would you rather" question involving speed and energy, and ask one of your classmates. (Students can do this in pairs).
Instruction day 13 (pages 40 - 47): Hands on activity: Speeding Marbles!
Summary: Experiment with marbles.
Lesson Objective: Test the relationship between mass, speed and energy.
Materials: Marbles, ramps and Mezzi Measuring Tape.
Instructions with Guiding Questions: Go through the instructions and scenarios on pages 40-43 as a class. Students should write down their best guesses on their own about how the marbles of different weights and speeds will interact. After they've filled out those pages, you can poll the class to see what predictions students made.
Then, put students in small groups with different sized marbles, ramps, and optionally, measuring tapes. Give them plenty of time to play and experiment together, and encourage them to measure how far marbles move in different situations and take notes on page 45.
Ask: What's the farthest your group got a marble to roll after another marble collided with it?
Example: When we rolled the bigger marble down the ramp at a very steep angle, it made the smaller marble move 30 inches from where it started!
Instruction day 14 (page 48): Writing Workshop
Summary: Write about the chapter.
Lesson Objective: Students reflect on what they’ve learned during the unit and summarize their understanding.
Instructions: Have students talk about what they learned with the class and then give them time to write down what they learned or liked about the unit.
Instruction day 15 (pages 49 - 50): Pop cards
Summary: Reflect, write and make quiz cards.
Lesson Objective: Students review key concepts they learned about speed and energy.
Introduction: We already finished this chapter! Turn to a partner and share what the most interesting thing you learned was. (After giving them time to talk, invite students to share with the class what their partner found most interesting, and see if any students came up with similar answers!)
Instructions: Get out scissors for each student before you start the lesson. Students follow the instructions for cutting out and creating pop cards they can use to review and test themselves on important concepts from the chapter.