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Pushes And Pulls


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Hi Everyone,

I am currently training to be a teacher on the GTP and my base class is year one. This term I am responsiable for teaching all of the science. The topic is pushes and pulls and so far the children have looked at movement. Then in the next lesson they looked more closely at pushes and pulls and sorted objects accordingly.


So, so far the children should understand that things move in different ways and that pushing and pulling makes things move. Next week I would like to look at barriers and how they can stop moving objects (with of course lots of health and safety about way it is dangerous to try and stop some moving objects). I would like to set up some investigations using different barriers and was wondering if any of you have you have taught this before, and could offer me some ideas and support on how to organise this lesson. As I have not taught this before I am struggling to think of an interesting and purposeful investigation. Any help greatly appreciated.


Thank you

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Guest Spiral

Just a thought, but could you make big buckets of gloop/flour+water/coloured water/etc etc and see if they could push or pull a big stick through it, then a bigger fatter plank through and see which is easiest/hardest?

Maybe using elastic to measure with and then string to measure with and see which is accurate and why the string is better - sorry I'm struggling to think of things on this one too!


Good luck,

Spiral :-)

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Thanks great idea Spiral. I am planning the whole unit of work with support from my class teacher and she set out the next few lessons to look at barriers, gradients and surfaces e.g. friction. So I am taking her direction for what to plan however I don't think it is specfically mentioned in the curriculum.

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Guest tinkerbell

when I taught yr1/yr2 the children enjoyed a series of lessons using pull'sledges' working in pairs


plastic food trays (preferable all same size) string,weights,care bears or something similar to weigh sledge down

the children attached string to the food tray and placed at end of a desk with string hanging over....nothing happens

what if you attached X weight to string hanging over edge?....if you put heavier weight on string would it go faster/slower? what if you put more bears in the sledge?

the children can then record their findings

next lesson can be different surfaces (barriers) put piece of carpet on table,can the children think of other barriers?what wdo they think will happen to the sledge now the table surface is different? (make predictions)

I am all for getting the children to have hands on practical experiences ,they will come up withtheir own ideas


also get the children to take photos of themselves pushing and pulling objects around school, eg doors,playtime equipment etc

get children to write push and pull on card labels and label up the classroom ,cloakroom

Have fun

oh yes we loved pulling jelly snakes to see how long they would stretch before they snapped! (measure)

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