This activity groups items related to force that seem similar and challenges students to choose which item in the group is not like the others. Students use supporting evidence to explain their reasoning.
Note that the Playground Physics app is not required for this lesson.
Introduce the Activity (5 minutes)
Activity (15 minutes)
Break students up into groups and ask them to agree on one answer for each row in the table.
Discussion (20 minutes)
Do not be surprised when each group has a different response for which scenario is the odd one out. A correct answer is judged by the thinking behind the argument and not whether the answer is right or wrong. Look for the most compelling argument.
Remember to check the “Parking Lot” of questions at the end of the class period. Remove any questions that have been answered, and add any new questions that may have come up.
Remember these responses are only best answers and as with any good argument, students may come up with alternative responses. Alternative responses are acceptable as long as their claim is supported with enough evidence or reasoning.
Sample response: A man leaning on a wall is supported by the wall (pushing); the other options all involve pulling situations.
Sample response: In the chair example we are only talking about the forces on the chair, not the force pair; scenarios 1, 2 and 4 identify the force pairs. Choice 3 involves outside forces (friction) not involved in the force pair (chair vs. mover). So choice 3 is the odd one out.
Sample response: Scenarios 2, 3 and 4 identify the force pairs. Choice 1 involves outside forces (the sun’s gravity on Earth) not involved in the force pair (Earth versus moon).
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