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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds RACHEL: Last week, we looked at how reconstructing the learning was only useful if children were able to see the issue with their misconception. We have to help support them to see why their understanding is not correct and lead them to discover the correct conception. If children think that an object with greater mass will fall more quickly than one with less mass, then we can challenge this misconception by investigating it. This can be done by using objects that are the same but have a different mass, such as two tennis balls with one of the balls filled with water to increase its mass. An alternative is to use film canisters filled with different weights.

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 seconds Children can either observe or measure the speed at which these objects fall. As they will fall quickly, it is useful to film this and slow the speed down so they can see what’s happening.

Dropping objects of different mass

Last week we looked at how reconstructing the learning was only useful if the children were able to see an issue with their misconception. We have to support them to see why their understanding is not correct and lead them to discover the correct conception.

If children think that an object with greater mass will fall more quickly than one with less mass, then we can challenge this misconception by investigating this. This can be done by using objects that are the same but have a different mass such as two tennis balls, with one of the balls filled with water to increase its mass. This can be done by injecting water into the ball. An alternative is to use film canisters filled with different weights, these could be small coins or playdough and asking them to observe or measure the speed that they fall. As they will fall quickly, it is useful to film this and slow the speed down so they can see what is happening.

Plan

In the video Rachel suggested some ideas for investigating dropping objects of different mass. How would you get children to work scientifically to investigate this idea?

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This video is from the free online course:

Teaching Primary Science: Physics

National STEM Learning Centre