I put the kids into pairs and gave them each a dish of objects:
They spent about 45 minutes in the classroom dropping the objects and comparing how fast they fell. They wrote down their observations and we discussed what they noticed.
The kids came up with some BIG IDEAS:
1. Gravity is a force.
2. The shape of an object can change how fast it falls. (We noticed that with flat paper).
3. Heavy objects fall at the same speed as lighter objects.
The next day we dropped two identical pieces of paper: One was crumpled into a ball and the other was left flat.
This reinforced big idea #2.
After that we went outside and compared falling rates between the paper ball and heavier objects (to reinforce big idea #3). If the objects were dropped at exactly the same time then VOILA! they fell at the same speed, regardless of weight. The picture below is a perfect example.
Next week I'll share our parachutes!