Earth Science Learning Community

Friction Fun

Lesson Plan

State Standards:

MA Science curriculum standard
231. Demonstrate that the way to change the motion of an object is to apply a force (give it a push or a pull). The greater the force, the greater the change in the motion of the object.

Essential Question:

Lesson Question:

What is Friction?
How does friction, caused by the different surfaces, change how far the object moves?


F is for Friction.
Friction is all around us!! Rub your hands together!!
Think about your snow boots on an icy sidewalk, or your cleats on the soccer field. Have you ever wondered why those surfaces needed specific footwear? Well it’s because of FRICTION!!!
Your online monthly classroom newsletter wants you and your group members to create a web, using Popplet, about Friction In Our Lives.
You are going to test out different surfaces and determine how friction, caused by the different surfaces, can change how the object moves? So let’s get started!


Lesson Experiences:


  1. Elicit: Day 1:
    Let’s begin by using Popplet to create a web. The center of the web says “Motion stops because...” I will add your answers to the web. Please help complete the sentence, What would make a stop? (car, dances, ball, etc).
  2. Now let's watch Prezi on Friction.
  3. Now can anyone think of anything else to add to the web? This web shows examples of forces that may slow down, stop, of make it hard for the object to move. These forces are called friction. Let’s refer to the web, and underline the ideas that clearly demonstrate the role of friction stopping motion.
  4. Let's watch a video on Friction.
  5. Here is a song, let's listen and practive.The Motion Song
  6. For homework tonight please practive the song.

Engage : Day 2

  1. Please rub your hands together. What happens when you rub your hands together? What happens when you walk on ice? Why is it harder to ride your bike on grass rather than pavement? What happens when you go down a waterslide? Friction is a type of force that is caused when two surfaces are rubbing together. The next activity will help you better understand friction.
    2. In small groups, you will be pushing (hard and soft) objects (penny, marble, magnet, block) over carpet, tile, and sandpaper and recording how far the objects over with a tape measurer. Then you will determine which surfaces positively and negatively affect the distance that the object moves. The focus question will be: How does friction caused by the different surfaces change how far the object moves?
    3. Before we start, let’s discuss some predictions.

Explore :

  1. Now push the objects over the various surfaces and record measurements in your science journal. I would also like you to take pictures using the digital cameras. You may begin. Have FUN exploring friction!
  2. You did an excellent job now let’s discuss your findings and observations. Let’s focus on the surface you used and the force applied.
  3. What two factors determine the amount of friction there is between two surfaces (surface type and force on surface). Did you have FUN?

Explain 6

  1. In your science Journal, glue 1-4 pictures from the activity and write 1-2 sentences that describes the surface type you explored and the amount of friction between the object and the surface.

Engage Day 3:

  1. Let's watch a video.
  2. Discuss sometimes you want lots of friction, so your car can grip the road and so your shoes don’t slip. Other times you want less friction, when you are going down a waterslide or ice skating or skateboarding.
  3. Let’s create a list of everyday activities where friction plays a role.
  4. Great work!

Explore: In the computer lab, we are going to have some more fun and play some online friction games independently. Remember to have Friction FUN.

For homework: here is a list of the websites. You can play these FUN games.

Explain: You and a partner will use Skitch to make a slide to demonstrate what you learned about friction. First, go to Google images and find a picture with an example of friction. Then add a text box and type in a sentence about what you learned. Also add a text box with you names. Finally, email the final product to the teacher can create a slideshow to present to the class.

Elaborate: Now you will find out which type of surface has the most friction. In small groups, you will test this by rolling a marble down a ramp (pile of books) then onto different types of surfaces. When the marble stops rolling measure the distance it rolled. The test surfaces will include: carpet, cardboard, newspaper, and a towel. Measure the distance the marble rolled.

Evaluate: Now you are a friction expert, please take quiz individually. Then print your results and hand in to the teacher.


Isn’t Friction FUN?!! Friction is all around you. You have learned so much about Friction by moving objects over various surfaces and identifying Friction in your everyday life.


The final assessment will be creating a Popplet about Friction. the Popplet should include facts learned, pictures from the internet or from activities completed. You have learned a friction song, played games, taken a quiz, completed a marble race, and now it’s time for you to show what you have learned. There is a rubric and I will go over it with you so you know exactly what to do. Your completed Popplet will be posted on the online monthly classroom newsletter for your classmates and family to see. HAVE FUN!

Assessment Rubric for Project

I am looking for ... 3 2 1
Creativity many accurate illustrations many accurate illustrations,some misinterpretations few illustrations
Knowledge many accurate facts facts but some misinterpretations few facts
Popplet shows effort,knowedge and creativity shows effort and knowledge needs more effort