Let's Get Moving!
In this unit, kindergarten students begin to learn about how living and non-living things differ. Through exploring how living and non living things move, they discover energy and the idea of push and pull. Students have fun, experimenting with how their own living bodies move, and also investigate how their non-living, favourite toys move and are propelled. They also begin to practise early analysis skills by predicting and experimenting with energy and movement in toy cars.
- Essential Question
How do things move?
- Unit Question
What is energy?
- Content Questions
What is push and pull? How does it make things move?
How do living things move? How do humans move?
How do non-living things move? How do toys move?
View how assessment is used in this unit plan. These assessments help students and teachers set understandable goals, monitor student progress, provide feedback, assess thinking, performance and products, and reflect on learning throughout the activities.
Students Prior Knowledge
It would be helpful if students were already aware of the meaning of non-living and living things (this may have been a previous unit of work in Kindergarten). Students also need to be able to participate in class discussions, work in groups and with older peers/buddies. Therefore terms 3 or 4 of this first year of school may be the optimum time for delivery of this unit.
Teachers Professional Learning
NSW DET teachers may wish to review how the Connected Outcome Groups (COGs) work. http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/timetoteach/cogs/index.htm*
Teaching and Learning Strategies
- Student led and centred practical experiments – to promote engagement and authentic learning
- Guided discussion and questioning
- Buddy system for research time, small group/pair work and presentation to class
Teaching and Learning Activities
Introducing the Unit
- Teacher starts by introducing the topic, Let’s Get Moving!, to the students. Teacher sets up a safe environment where students can experiment with moving their arms, legs, fingers, toes, heads. Teacher questions students about how they can move their bodies. Students and teacher discuss their ideas about how and why different parts of their bodies move.
- Teacher shows the presentation Let’s Get Moving (PPT 399KB) to the students. Teacher works through one slide at a time, engaging the students with thought-provoking questions. Teacher encourages student discussion and input. Teacher makes observations of where students are unsure of keywords eg living, non living, energy.
- Students (in pairs) role play and work out how they can use each other to push and pull (gently!) Teachers use digital cameras to take photos of students during this task. Students (with teacher help) then print them out and label as either an example of push or pull. Class with teacher help creates a book on movement, which can be accessed at anytime during the unit or for independent reading times. Depending on skill level of the kindergarten class, this could also be a multimedia presentation or a wiki.
- Teachers organises buddies to help the students research push and pull. Students should view this as a time to revise what they have already learnt on movement and how energy allows for objects to be pushed or pulled. Kindergarten students will also further their content understanding by discussing the topic in different ways with older students. Students can use CD Rom Encyclopedias or the Internet. Students should find one thing that can be moved using energy (either living or non living); they may print out information and/or create a Let’s Get Moving poster (DOC 48KB). Students, supported by buddies, communicate their understanding of energy; push and pull to class during a show and discussion time. Teachers to allow some student direction within their presentation of their example of movement; some students may choose to use practical demonstration.
- Students should now have a stronger understanding of energy causing push and pull in living things. Teacher re-introduces concept of how non living things can move independently with energy sourced by different mediums for example, batteries. Students bring in their favourite moving toy to show to class. Students should be able to explain what the toy is; what it can do; what its energy source is and how it moves (roll, spin, fly.) This allows teacher to assess, observe and analyse what is currently known by students, whilst students help each other by peer tutoring. Some students may show deep understanding by questioning specifically how an object moves without batteries, such as with rubber bands or cogs. Teacher should answer these questions as the need arises; however allow students to use their problem solving skills initially. It is important to keep this task as open-ended as possible, and allow students to explore the topic further and seek answers to questions by thinking and experimenting. As a class, students collect and record their data on a large poster. To extend this activity, teacher could create a graph with the students of which was the most popular way for a toy to move – roll, spin, fly? This requires the students to use their higher order thinking skills; to synthesise and evaluate the knowledge they have acquired.
- Students continue experimenting with movement of non living objects; during this next stage, teacher and students take digital photos of the different steps within the experiment and keep for concluding activity. Students to hypothesise and predict the distance a toy car will travel on a ramp. Students may predict independently the higher the car is placed on the ramp, the further it will travel. If possible, teacher, classroom assistants and buddies should work with students in small groups on this task, to allow for fully hands-on experimentation. Students should discuss, think through and test their predictions. This activity should be completely student-directed. The teacher will need to allow for students to come up with answers to their problems as they arise and let them work together. All student ideas should be tested and the results discussed. In the process of testing students may discover issues with: inside versus outside ramps, height of ramps, material of ramps, car sizes, wheel sizes etc. Students to also decide how they are to record their results. Teachers to encourage students discussions by asking open ended questions such as “How do you think the gravel on this ramp may affect how far the car travels?”, “How can we remedy/solve this problem?”, “What do you think may happen if we use a bigger/smaller car/wheels?”. Teacher to allow the activity to be guided by the students. Teacher to tie up the investigations by instigating a student centered conclusion on the experiment. Teacher to assess level of deep understanding from students’ explanations of their experiments.
Concluding the Unit
- Students work with buddies to create their own short multimedia presentation (3-4 slides) of the things they have learnt, answering the content questions. Students may use digital photos from initial work with buddies and photos from experiment with toy cars. Buddies will need to give positive support to students and allow students to do as much of the presentation as they feel they are able. Students may just wish to paste pictures of objects which can be pushed or pulled or they may choose to show different examples of energy. The completion of the presentation can be used to conclude the unit. The class may decide to celebrate their learning by inviting other classes or parents to come and watch their presentations. Students may present their work independently or with their buddies. Presentations may also be uploaded to the school intranet or website. The teacher takes anecdotal notes about the presentations and adds this to information gained from other assessments to provide an overview on student learning and understanding of Let’s Get Moving!
- Students to complete Assessment.Moving (DOC 277KB), which covers objects being pushed and pulled. This should be seen as a time for revision of the topic, as well as an assessment. Students answer questions what energy sources are required to move a toy car, a person and a car. This allows the teacher to clearly see if students are able to answer the Essential Question.
- Students complete Self Assessment.Moving (DOC 33KB). The teacher is able to discover what the students thought about the unit and open lines of communication. Students are also asked draw their favourite part of the unit and asked why. Some students may be able to write as well as draw. Teachers can use this when adapting the unit for a subsequent year.
Accommodations for diverse needs
Students with special needs
Students with special may need to work with peers/buddies or teachers aide if required. Small group work should also facilitate full participation in all activities and encourage engagement and understanding.
English as a second language (ESL) students
Pair ESL students with peers/buddies whose first language is English. Work in small groups.
Open ended tasks provided throughout the unit for students to extend themselves. Continue to provide high expectations.
Allocate time for indigenous storytelling around the topic of movement.
Rebecca Ross participated in the Intel® Teach Essentials Course, which resulted in this idea for a classroom project.
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