Fancy Footwork

A world without friction would be a very strange place. Young scientists explore the impact of this fundamental force on everyday life in this fun science investigation. Given a number of different fabrics children perform experiments to measure the force it takes to move shoes with different materials on their soles. Experimental results are recorded in tables and are used to create bar graphs and scatter plot diagrams as learners determine the relationship between each material and the amount of friction it creates. Include this cross-curricular lesson series in a science unit on force and motion and lay the groundwork for exploring other real world contexts involving friction.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable

  • Lesson offers activities for extending learning about friction
  • Includes questions for guiding a discussion about the experimental results
  • A video is included that demonstrates the experimental procedures
  • Pre- and post-assessments are provided for monitoring student learning

  • Teacher must provide the class with a variety of fabrics and materials