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Hands-On Science: Engaging Push and Pull Experiments for Primary Students - A Comprehensive Guide

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

Push and Pull - a teaching unit of fun at Sherbert Learning

Last semester, we dove headfirst into the world of Push and Pull and Forces. There's nothing quite like the joy of executing an experiment each week and seeing the gleam of curiosity and appreciation in the eyes of the young learners!

To get things rolling, we set up a "Wondering Wall" with the students' questions and their existing knowledge. Once the stage was set, the real fun began as we embarked on a series of exciting experiments…

A student exploring friction - as part of the Push and Pull Unit on Sherbert Learning

The World of Friction

We started by establishing a comprehensive definition of friction. The students, divided into small groups, selected various surfaces for testing the concept of friction with toy cars. The hands-on experience drove the understanding home!

A student exploring push and pull - as part of the Push and Pull Unit on Sherbert Learning

Harnessing Wind Power

We ventured into the realm of wind power, exploring its capability to push and pull. The students designed miniature wind race tracks and, employing straws, used their breath to push a Malteser through the various pathways. The delight in the classroom was palpable!

Tea Bag Rockets

A student exploring forces - as part of the Push and Pull Unit on Sherbert Learning

Undeniably a student favorite! The task was simple: empty a tea bag, prop it upright, and light the top. As the flame traveled down, the hot air, forced down the cylinder, propelled the ashes skyward, mesmerizing the young audience. And of course, gravity brought the ashes back down. Such was the fascination that we ended up repeating this experiment five times!

Pom Pom Poppers

This experiment was another crowd-pleaser. The students used Pom Pom Poppers to introduce a fun element of chaos in the classroom while understanding the interplay of pull and push forces. Instructions for constructing these poppers can easily be found online. Trust us, it's worth a try!

Paper Airplanes

In groups of four, the students crafted diverse paper airplanes from provided templates and designs. This activity prompted discussions on wind, gravity, and thrust (the force exerted by our muscles to launch the planes).

Every week, the students eagerly anticipated the upcoming experiment. It was quite a task to curate a diverse range of activities that illustrated the concepts of Push, Pull, and Forces, but the effort was absolutely worth it. Hopefully, this overview proves helpful to others on a similar journey!

The range of resources included in the Push and Pull - Unit of Fun at Sherbert Learning

Push and Pull - Unit of Fun

For a comprehensive guide to this unit, check out my Teachers Pay Teachers store! This all-inclusive package is sure to elevate your science curriculum. It requires minimal preparation and comes with a wealth of supporting resources, making teaching a breeze! The pack includes:

Why Choose Our Pack?

  1. Highly Engaging Content: Our experiments are designed to be fun and engaging, making learning an enjoyable process.

  2. Comprehensive Guides: Each experiment comes with a detailed 'How To' guide, including a list of required materials, step-by-step activity details, scientific explanations, and additional activities for further exploration.

  3. POE Model Response Sheets: To enhance the learning process, our experiment response sheets follow the Predict-Observe-Explain (POE) model. This encourages students to make predictions, record observations, and explain their findings, fostering critical thinking skills.

  4. Assessment Task: Assess your students science understandings with the Design your own Experiment task, including Lesson Plan, Task Description, Response Sheets and Rubric.

  5. Bonus Homework Activity: To reinforce the concepts learned, we've included a bonus homework activity that students can do at home.

The range of resources included in the Push and Pull - Unit of Fun at Sherbert Learning

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