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Making Physics Fun
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Making Physics Fun
Key Concepts, Classroom Activities, and Everyday Examples, Grades K-8


April 2007 | 240 pages | Corwin

"The activities and examples include many that have withstood the test of time for successful science instruction and that enable teachers to link science to the lives of students."
—Elizabeth Hammerman, Science Educator and Consultant

"A substantial contribution to the field of science education and an easy way for busy teachers to make science more meaningful, exciting, and connected for students. An important mix of both content and activities that teachers can use to meet individual needs."
—Kerry Williams, Professor, Wayne State College

Boost student interest and understanding in the physical sciences!

Teaching physical science in the elementary and middle grades can be challenging for busy teachers faced with growing science demands and limited classroom resources. Robert Prigo provides fun and engaging activities using safe, available materials that educators can easily incorporate into lesson plans. Extensive examples, sample inquiry questions, and ideas for initiating units are readily available for teachers to pick and choose from to meet student needs.

The result of more than two decades of professional development work with hundreds of teachers and administrators, Making Physics Fun addresses five specific areas of physical science: motion and force, fluids and buoyancy, waves and sound, light and electromagnetic waves, and electricity and magnetism. Dozens of activities demonstrating physics in action help students of all ages relate physics principles to their everyday experiences.

Using easy-to-understand language, this practitioner-friendly resource helps teachers:

  • Address the "big ideas" in K–8 science education
  • Promote student understanding with ready-to-use learning experiences
  • Use hands-on activities to help students make larger, real-world connections
  • Assemble classroom learning centers to facilitate deeper understanding of basic physics principles

With conceptual summaries to support teachers' proficiency and understanding of the content, this guidebook is ideal for bringing physics to life for students in the classroom and in their lives!


 
Preface
 
1. Motion and Force
Inertia and Newton's First Law of Motion

 
Concepts

 
Activities

 
Everyday Examples

 
Fundamental Forces and Newton's Third Law of Motion

 
Concepts

 
Activities

 
Everyday Examples

 
Net Force, Acceleration and Newton's Second Law of Motion

 
Concepts

 
Activities

 
Everyday Examples

 
Motion Circus

 
Sample Investigation Questions

 
 
2. Fluids and Buoyancy
Gases and Liquids as Fluids

 
Pressure in a Gas and Atmospheric Pressure

 
Concepts

 
Activities

 
Everyday Examples

 
Liquid Pressure

 
Concepts

 
Activities

 
Everyday Examples

 
Archimedes' Principle: Sinking and Floating

 
Concepts

 
Activities

 
Everyday Examples

 
Fluids in Motion: Bernoulli's Principle

 
Concepts

 
Activities

 
Everyday Examples

 
Fluids and Buoyancy Circus

 
A Bernoulli Circus

 
Sample Investigable Questions

 
 
3. Waves and Sound
Waves and Waves Motion

 
Concepts

 
Types of Waves and Waves Speed

 
Periodic Waves: Wavelength, Frequency, and Amplitude

 
Wave Reflection and Transmission

 
Superposition Principle

 
Activities

 
Everyday Examples

 
Sound Waves

 
Concepts

 
Activities

 
Everyday Examples

 
Waves and Sound Circus

 
Sample Investigable Questions

 
 
4. Light and Electromagnetic Waves
Waves and/or Particles

 
Sources of Light

 
Concepts

 
Activities

 
Everyday Examples

 
Light and Matter

 
Concepts

 
Activities

 
Everyday Examples

 
Light Travels in a Straight Line

 
Concepts

 
Activities

 
Everyday Examples

 
Reflection

 
Concepts

 
Activities

 
Everyday Examples

 
Refractions

 
Concepts

 
Activities

 
Everyday Examples

 
Total Internal Reflection

 
Concepts

 
Activities

 
Everyday Examples

 
Dispersion and Color

 
Concepts

 
Activities

 
Everyday Examples

 
Diffraction and Interference

 
Concepts

 
Activities

 
Everyday Eaxamples

 
Light Circus

 
Sample Investigative Questions

 
 
5. Electricity and Magnetism
Electric Charge and the Electric Force and Field

 
Concepts

 
Activities

 
Everyday Examples

 
Electric Current and the Magnetic Force and Field

 
Concepts

 
Activities

 
Magnets Interacting with Magnets and Magnetic Materials

 
Magnets Interacting with Current Carrying Wires

 
Current Carrying Wires Interacting with Current Carrying Wires

 
Everyday Examples

 
Magnets Interacting with Magnets and Magnetic Materials

 
Magnets Interacting with Current Carrying Wires

 
Electromagnetic Induction

 
Concepts

 
Activities

 
Everyday Examples

 
Electric and Magnetic Circus

 
Sample Investigative Questions

 
 
References and Resources

"The activities and examples include many that have withstood the test of time for successful science instruction and that enable teachers to link science to the lives of students."

Elizabeth Hammerman, Science Educator and Consultant

"A substantial contribution to the field of science education and an easy way for busy teachers to make science more meaningful, exciting, and connected for students. An important mix of both content and activities that teachers can use to meet their individual needs."

Kerry Williams, Professor
Wayne State College

"The information is fantastic and the activities are intriguing. Using this book to teach physical science will have children cheering whenever the teacher announces that it's time for science."

Peggy Rogers, First-Grade Teacher
Burton Elementary School, Rexburg, ID

"The straightforward explanations, along with real-life examples, appeal to teachers who are using the information to supplement a required curriculum. This book would be a very convenient resource for preparing lesson plans from district-required text."

Theresa Knaebel, Middle School Science Teacher
Pittsburgh Public Schools, PA

"Provides a fine gathering of exercises in physics for kids in Grades K–8. From experiments demonstrating waves and sound to fluids, forces, and light, these are fun examples to build and test."

California Bookwatch, June 2008
Midwest Book Review
Key features
  • Just-in-time resource for growing science demands on K–8 teachers
  • Helps teachers and students to see physics in action all around them
  • Loads of ready-to-use learning experiences
  • Helps teachers connect thinking with hands-on activities
  • Shows how to teach with safe, easy-to-get materials
  • Conceptual summaries support teacher understanding
  • Great resource for vertical or team study groups and professional development

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