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Describing an Object’s Motion

Lesson Plan

Describing an Object’s Motion


In this lesson, students will learn the various ways an object can move. They will use games and demonstrations to help understand the concepts. Students will:

  • learn how objects move.
  • identify how a particular object moves.
  • develop examples of objects that move in a certain motion.

Essential Questions


  • Motion: The act of moving or changing places.
  • Start: To begin to do something.
  • Stop: To close/finish. To no longer move or continue an action.
  • Push: To move something or cause something to move by using pressure against it.
  • Pull: To cause something that is attached to move forward; draw.
  • Up: To, toward, at, or in a higher place or position.
  • Down: From a higher to a lower position.
  • Left: Being on the side of the body where the heart is. The opposite of left is right.
  • Right: Being on the side of the human body opposite the heart. The opposite of left.
  • Fast: Moving quickly or operating with speed.
  • Slow: Not moving fast or not able to move fast.
  • Spin: The act of causing a spinning or whirling motion.


60 minutes/1–2 class periods

Prerequisite Skills

Prerequisite Skills haven't been entered into the lesson plan.


Related Unit and Lesson Plans

Related Materials & Resources

The possible inclusion of commercial websites below is not an implied endorsement of their products, which are not free, and are not required for this lesson plan.

  • Google Images

  • Red Light Green Light

  • Tug of War


  • Yahoo KIDS

Formative Assessment

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    • Assess the general knowledge of the student’s definitions from a vocabulary activity. To provide additional practice, give students feedback as well as write the vocabulary terms on the board for visual learners.
    • Observe the cooperation of each student during the game and demonstration portion of the lesson.
    • To check if students have understood the lesson, give them the Machines in Action worksheet to be completed individually. You should provide feedback and additional assistance where needed.

Suggested Instructional Supports

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    Scaffolding, Active Engagement, Explicit Instruction
    W:  Students will understand an object’s motion. Students name multiple movements an object can make. They are required to participate in all activities as a reinforcement tool for the lesson.
    H:  Students are engaged in familiar games to gain an understanding of motion.
    E:  Students have adequate opportunities to explore movement through questions and answers throughout the lesson, interactive games, demonstrations, and the Machines in Action worksheet.
    R:  Students have opportunities to rethink what they know about an object’s motion during games, as well as while completing the worksheet, on which they receive teacher feedback
    E:  Students have time to self evaluate themselves concerning the lesson. They ask questions and teach the class a new game to reinforce what was learned.
    T:  This lesson is tailored to students because it focuses on individual and group activities. The lesson gives students with different learning capabilities an equal opportunity to be successful at completing the lesson.
    O:  The lesson follows an effective slope design. It starts at a low point, then moves to the peak. Students will appreciate the smooth movement through the lesson.

Instructional Procedures

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    Ask students to define motion. Write students’ definitions on the blackboard, so they can refer back to them throughout the lesson. Inform students that a machine can move in a variety of different ways. Ways that a machine can move are listed below. Post these motions on the board:


    • start/stop
    • push/pull
    • up/down
    • left/right
    • faster/slower
    • spinning



    Create a chart on the board or on paper with the following headings:



    Move up/ down

    Move left/ right

    Go faster/ slower















    Have students give examples of machines that start/stop, push/pull, move up/down, move left/right, go faster/slower, or spin. Record responses on the board or chart as students give examples. Display the chart in the class and add examples throughout the lessons.

    Activity 2: Games We Play

    Tell students that motion can be seen as we play games. Students are introduced to different motions through various games and activities. Motions that will be introduced include start/stop, push/pull, and spin. Students should be taken outside to participate in the games or play the games in a large enough space so it is safe. It is also a good idea to show the games to students in advance. To learn more about how to play the games, visit the following Web sites for directions:

    • Spinning: Have students play with a spinning top, so they can physically see the instrument spin.
    • Up/Down: Pogo stick or jump rope.
      • Faster/Slower: Sing the song “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.” This song is to be sung faster each round. Lyrics for the song are found at

    After students have watched all demonstrations and completed the games, ask what motion they did or saw for each activity. After students have successfully matched the motion to each demonstration/game, have students add the games to the chart created in the previous activity under the heading that best describes the motion. Ask them to name other machines that start/stop, push/pull, move up/down, move left/right, go faster/slower, or spin. Have students complete the Machines in Action worksheet (S-3-4-1_Machines in Action Worksheet and KEY.doc). Ask students to discuss with their peers what they wrote and to share their findings with the class.


    • Students who might need an opportunity for additional learning can create a collage of objects that move. Students choose one movement (e.g., start/stop, faster/slower or up/down, etc.) and write the name of the chosen movement on the top center portion of the poster board. Then they make a collage of pictures depicting those particular movements. Pictures can be taken from newspapers, magazines, Internet printouts, etc.
    • Students who are going beyond the standards can make a game that includes terms for the motions they have learned throughout the lesson.

    1.      Students should introduce a motion through a game they found or designed themselves.

    2.      They teach the game to the class, so everyone can play the game and learn.

Related Instructional Videos

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DRAFT 04/25/2011
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