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Making Bouncing Balls

Grades: K-2
Author: Susan Franz, Chris Bode, Beth Kennedy, Roberta Gangl
Source: Akron Global Polymer Academy Summer Institute 2002 Balls and Ramps, Insights Hands-on Inquiry Science Curriculum Chain Gang, The Chemistry of Polymers Published by Terrific Science Press


Abstract

Children have the opportunity to use different materials to make balls. They design and build balls and explore how their balls roll, bounce, and fall. They also take apart old balls to see how they are made and use these ideas in making more balls.


Objectives

What should students know as a result of this lesson?

  • Students will identify balls that do and do not bounce.
  • Students will illustrate what they learned in their Science Journals.

What should the students be able to do as a result of this lesson?

  • Make balls
  • Explore the movement of balls
  • Explore the insides of commercially made balls
  • Analyze the materials from which the balls are made to determine their purpose.

Materials

  • Making Balls Kit, Oriental Trading Company
  • Vinyl gutter, 3 ft section – Using a permanent marker, mark the inside in inches for the entire length of the gutter. Play dough, modeling clay, Silly Putty
  • Some ideas for materials to collect include items which could serve as the core of a ball, such as pebbles, beads, newspaper, foil, and those which can be stuffed to form balls like socks, plastic bags, or stockings. You will also want to collect items that can wrap around a core, such as rubber bands and string. Also collect several old balls for the children to take apart. Get some that are hollow and others that are solid. Place an assortment on several tables around which groups can work.

Procedures

Engagement

Introduce to the class that today they will be making balls that they have designed themselves. Show them the variety of materials available and model some examples (i.e. crushed newspaper wrapped in tape in a spherical shape). Ask whether anyone can think of a particular kind of ball she or he would like to make. What should it be able to do? What might it be made of? As the students work, encourage them to think about why they are using certain materials, what they hope their ball will be like, and how they think it might roll and bounce.

Gather the children in a circle and take apart two or more commercially made balls, one hollow, (tennis, ping pong) and one solid (golf, hardball). Use more probing questions such as What do you think the balls are made of? How do you think they are made? How are they similar to or different from the balls we made? Could you make a hollow ball? How?

Exploration

When the children are done, give them time to test their balls.

Gather the children in a circle and take apart two or more commercially made balls, one hollow, (tennis, ping pong) and one solid (golf, hardball).

To assess the children, observe their work, looking for inquiry behaviors in their testing of the balls they made

Explanation

Bring the class together and ask the children to put their balls in front of them where all can see. Ask for volunteers to tell something about their ball that is special. Probe with questions such as what is the ball particularly good for? Let the child demonstrate what the ball can do. Continue with questions such as: Is it a ball if it can’t bounce? Is it a ball if it can’t roll?

Elaboration

Discuss with the students the differences in round balls and footballs. See if a football can bounce like a round ball. Show a video clip of a football being passed so that the children can see the spin on the ball. Compare this motion with that of a round ball. Ask the children to describe the differences.

Demonstration

Gather the children in a circle and take apart two or more commercially made balls, one hollow, (tennis, ping pong) and one solid (golf, hardball).

Direct Instruction

Introduce to the class that today they will be making balls that they have designed themselves. Show them the variety of materials available and model some examples (i.e. crushed newspaper wrapped in tape in a spherical shape). Ask whether anyone can think of a particular kind of ball she or he would like to make. What should it be able to do? What might it be made of? As the students work, encourage them to think about why they are using certain materials, what they hope their ball will be like, and how they think it might roll and bounce.


Prerequisites

Skills - Previous experience experimenting with balls; testing, bouncing, rolling, moving them. Examining commercially made balls.

Misconceptions

  • All balls bounce the same height.
  • The size of the ball determines the height of the bounce.
  • All balls bounce.

Best Teaching Practices

  • Hands-on/Minds-on Learning
  • Communication Skills
  • Inquiry Approaches
  • Ongoing, embedded, authentic assessment

Alignment with Standards

NGSS Standards:

  • 2-PS1-1 Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties.
  • 2-PS1-2 Analyze data obtained from testing diferent materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose.

National Standards:

  • Science As Inquiry, Content A: Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry Understanding about scientific inquiry
  • Physical Science, Content B: Properties of objects and materials Position and motion of objects

Ohio Standards:

  • Scientific Inquiry, Doing Scientific Inquiry Benchmark A, Indicators 1 and 2, Benchmark B, Indicators 3 and 4, Benchmark C, Indicators 5 and 6
  • Science and Technology, Ability to do Technological Design, Benchmark B, Indicator 4

Content Knowledge

N/A


Safety

Monitor students during testing/bouncing of balls.


Applications

Product Design and Testing.


Assessment

N/A


Other Considerations

Pacing/Suggested Time: 2 Science periods.


Printable PDF Worksheets

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