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Water Balloon Experiment



Science- Force, Energy, and Motion

Sarah Worth
Stage 1 Desired Results
Established Goals: The student will investigate and understand characteristics and interactions
of moving objects. Key concepts include: changes in motion are related to force and mass (4.2b).

Essential Understanding

Students will understand:

An objects mass can have an

effect on the force needed to move
Different forces are needed in
order to make an object move.

A force is any push or pull that causes an

object to move, stop, or change directions.
The greater the force, the greater the change
in motion will be. The more massive an
object, the less effect a given force will have
on the object.

Essential Questions:

Students will know

Students will be able to

Motion is observed by the change

of position over time.
What friction is and how it effects
the motion of an object.

Performance Tasks:

What is force?
How does the mass of an object change the
amount of force needed to move, stop, or
change an objects direction?

Explain why the mass of an object is

important when looking at the force needed
to move it.
Be able to define the Law of Inertia and
what is needed to make an object move.

Stage 2 Assessment Evidence

Other Evidence:

Today we will use water balloons in an

experiment outside to begin looking at
force and mass. Do you think it would
take more or less force to move different
sized water balloons?

Reflection and discussion: This is an introductory

experiment to get the students thinking about how
mass is important when observing force.
Students will be asked questions throughout the
experiment to better assess their comprehension.

Stage 3 Learning Plan

Learning Activities:
Warm-up Activity: Notes Sheet
Have students take out their vocabulary and definitions notes sheet and fill in the definition
and picture for speed and motion. Place the teacher copy up on the Elmo and fill in the notes
with the students. Review with the students what was covered during the rocket ship activity as
well as the student races. Filling in the notes sheet should take roughly 10 minutes.
Primary Activity: Water Balloon Experiment
Explain to the students that we will be going outside to complete a water balloon experiment
that looks at how the mass of an object effects the force needed to move it. Make a point that
there will be three different sizes of water balloons: small, medium, and large. Show students an
example of a small water balloon, medium water balloon, and large water balloon. Next, show
the students the water balloon launcher and explain how it works. Have students raise their hand
to make predictions about how much force will be needed to move each size water balloon.
Have students make a line at the door. Explain to students that while this experiment is fun
and very hands on, it is important to listen to teacher instruction the entire time and remain
seated when necessary. When outside, have the students have a seat in two lines, 12 students in
each line. Make sure the lines are wide enough so no students will be at risk of getting too wet
during the experiment. Hand one water balloon to the first student in the line and have them
place it in the launcher. (Teachers will hold each side of the launcher). Have the students take
steps back until there is enough tension in the launcher for the balloon to be released. When the
balloon has been released, ask students what they observed. Have the first student retrieve the
balloon pieces and sit down at the end of the line. Continue this process until each student has
had a turn. Make sure to ask the students comprehension questions as the experiment continues.
When each student has had a turn, make sure all of the materials are back in the bucket and
return inside.
HW: Study flash cards for test on Thursday.