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Falling Blocks

Shared by: Liz

What is this task about? 

In this task, students observe blocks falling down and then ask questions about the forces that caused the blocks to start moving. 

Students make observations about blocks that are initially not moving, but fall down after one is touched by a finger. Thus, they are observing the cause and effect relationship between an unbalanced force (the finger pushing against the first block) and changed motion (the blocks falling down). Students are then asked to use these observations as the basis for asking questions. These questions could then be used as the basis for investigations, the SEP indicated in the NGSS performance expectation. 

The three dimensions of this task are
  • DCI: PS2.A: Forces and Motion
  • SEP: Asking Questions
  • CCC: Cause and Effect

See Everything you need to know about 3-PS2-1 to learn more about this performance expectation.

Click on the tabs above to learn more about ways to use this task with your students, understand their responses, and assign the task on the NGSA Task Portal. 

Implementation Options

When To Use

  • Before or During Instruction – Use this as part of your instruction about this content.
    • TIP: Students might need to watch the video several times. You might need to remind them to closely observe the video and how the blocks move.
    • TIP: During instruction you may wish to have students work together on parts of this task and complete other parts individually. 
  • After Instruction – Assess what your students have learned about this content. 

Pick a Paired Task!

This task pairs well with Yasmin Helps Clean, another task developed for the same learning performance. 
Alternatively, you might choose a task developed for a different learning performance, or one that uses a different SEP or CCC.
Other Recommended Pairings:

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Understanding Student Responses