Forces and Motion: Basics

Curated and Reviewed by Lesson Planet

How is tug of war related to pushing a refrigerator? Here's a simulation connects these two activities with Newton's First Law of Motion. Four different simulations allow scholars to explore net force with tug of war, motion with pushing a cart, friction with moving a refrigerator, and acceleration when players change masses, speed, friction, and other variables.

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CCSS: Adaptable
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Instructional Ideas
  • Set up a tug of war game in an open area after completing the net force portion of the simulation
  • Create worksheets for individuals to predict the direction of motion when there are a combination of forces acting upon the item
Classroom Considerations
  • Requires the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer 10+ depending on the operating system being used
  • While the simulation is for middle and high school learners, one lesson includes elementary pupils
  • Includes links to lessons, labs, homework, and more that have been created by teachers to go along with the simulation
  • Translates the activity into 23 different languages
  • Provides ideas for simplifying the simulation to allow for differentiation
  • None