# Physical Science, Quarter 2, Unit 2.1. Gravity. Overview

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1 Physical Science, Quarter 2, Unit 2.1 Gravity Overview Number of instructional days: 7 (1 day = 53 minutes) Content to be learned Explain how mass and distance affect gravitational forces. Explain how gravitational forces between any two given objects are equal in magnitude, but opposite in direction. Predict how the force of gravity will affect the motion of a given object based on its mass and distance. Predict how the force of gravity and inertia will affect the motion of an object. Essential questions How does the force of gravity on an object change as the object s mass and the distance between it and other objects change? How does the Law of Universal Gravitation affect the gravitational force you exert on the earth compared with the gravitational force the earth exerts on you? Processes to be used Observe, measure, and draw conclusions. Perform calculations and manipulate algebraic equations. Analyze and create models, diagrams, charts, and data tables. Explain conclusions in words. Create and interpret graphs. Use logical cause-and-effect reasoning. Compare and contrast. Examine patterns within systems. How do gravity and inertia affect the motion of the planets? How does gravity affect the motion of a given object based on its mass and distance? Cranston Public Schools, in collaboration with C-17

2 Physical Science, Quarter 2, Unit 2.1 Gravity (10 days) Final, September 2011 Grade Span Expectations Written Curriculum PS 3 - The motion of an object is affected by forces. PS3 (9-11) POC 9 Apply the concepts of inertia, motion, and momentum to predict and explain situations involving forces and motion, including stationary objects and collisions. PS3 (9-11) 9 Students demonstrate an understanding of forces and motion by 9a explaining through words, charts, diagrams, and models the effects of distance and the amount of mass on the gravitational force between objects (e.g. Universal Gravitation Law). Clarifying the Standards Prior Learning Students understanding of gravity began in grade 2 when they identified that objects fall to earth unless something holds them up. By grade 4, students conducted experiments to demonstrate this concept. In grade 5, earth s gravity was more specifically defined as a force that pulls (without touching) any object on or near the earth toward its center. Students also determined that every object exerts gravitational force on every other object. Also, they identified that the amount of force depends on how much mass the objects have and on how far apart the objects are. They also learned that this force is hard to detect unless at least one of the objects has a lot of mass. By grades 7 8, students were able to understand and describe the relationship between mass and gravitational force among objects as well as the relationship between distance and gravitational force; however, they have no prior knowledge of the universal law of gravitation. In quarter 1 of the current year, students learned to describe forces using Newton s law of motion. Current Learning Some previously taught concepts need reviewing and further emphasis in this unit. Since students have no experience using the universal gravitation equation, it will need to be presented at the introductory level. Students may still have misconceptions about the relationship between mass and weight. These common misconceptions need to be further addressed. Students understand gravity as an action-at-a-distance force that affects all objects with mass; they recognize that the strength of the force is proportional to an object s mass and that force weakens rapidly with increasing distance. These concepts can be tied into Newton s laws from the previous unit. In particular, Newton s third law should be emphasized with respect to gravitational force specifically, that the gravitational force that object A exerts on object B is equal in magnitude and opposite direction. For example, the gravitational force you exert on the earth is EQUAL to the gravitational force the earth exerts on you. Students should be able to explain and model the relationships among the mass, distance, and gravitational force between objects. They will use the universal gravitational formula to identify directly- and inversely-proportional relationships. Students will identify these relationships as they apply to a number of circumstances, including the structure of the solar system, galaxy, and universe. C-18 Cranston Public Schools, in collaboration with

3 Gravity (10 days) Physical Science, Quarter 2, Unit 2.1 Final, September Future Learning Gravity will continue to play an important role in this physics course, especially with regard to potential energy, cyclic processes, and wave applications. The force of gravity with regard to rotational motion, Kepler s laws, friction, and other topics will be further explored in a grade physics 1 course. The distinction between force and energy will continue to be emphasized. Additional Research Findings See the National Science Digital Library s science literary map (Strand map: The Physical Setting / Gravity 9-12; < for the following research on common student misconceptions: Student ideas about the shape of the earth are closely related to their ideas about gravity and the direction of down. Students cannot accept that gravity is center-directed if they do not know that the earth is spherical nor can they believe in a spherical earth without some knowledge of gravity to account for why people on the bottom do not fall off. Students are likely to say many things that sound right, even though their ideas may be very far off base. For example, they may say that the earth is spherical, but believe that people live on a flat place on top or inside of it or believe that the round earth is up there like other planets, while people live down here. Research suggests teaching the concepts of spherical earth, space, and gravity in close connection to each other. Some research indicates that, by grade 5, students can understand basic concepts of the earth s shape and gravity if their ideas are directly discussed and corrected in the classroom. Elementary school students typically do not understand gravity as a force. They see the phenomenon of a falling body as natural, or they ascribe an object with an internal effort that makes it fall. If students do view weight as a force, they usually think it is the air that exerts this force. Misconceptions about the causes of gravity persist after traditional high school physics instruction, however these misconceptions can be overcome through specially designed instruction. Students of all ages may hold misconceptions about the magnitude of the earth s gravitational force. Even after a physics course, many high school students believe that gravity increases with height above the earth's surface. Many high school students cannot predict whether the force of gravity will be greater on a lead ball or a wooden ball of the same size. High school students also have difficulty conceptualizing gravitational forces as interactions. In particular, they have difficulty understanding that the magnitudes of the gravitational forces exerted by two objects of different mass are equal. These difficulties persist even after specially designed instruction. Cranston Public Schools, in collaboration with C-19

4 Physical Science, Quarter 2, Unit 2.1 Gravity (10 days) Final, September 2011 Notes About Resources and Materials C-20 Cranston Public Schools, in collaboration with

5 Physical Science, Quarter 2, Unit 2.2 Types of Energy Overview Number of instructional days: 5 (1 day = 53 minutes) Content to be learned Identify, measure, and analyze qualitative relationships associated with energy. Identify, measure, calculate, and analyze quantitative relationships associated with energy. Essential questions How can the types and amounts of energy in a closed system be identified, measured, and calculated? Processes to be used Perform algebraic calculations. Manipulate algebraic equations. Use logical cause-and-effect reasoning. Compare and contrast. Analyze patterns and relationships within a system. How are the mechanical, kinetic, and potential energy within a system interrelated? Cranston Public Schools, in collaboration with C-21

6 Physical Science, Quarter 2, Unit 2.2 Types of Energy (5 days) Final, September 2011 Grade Span Expectations Written Curriculum PS 2 - Energy is necessary for change to occur in matter. Energy can be stored, transferred, and transformed, but cannot be destroyed. PS2 (9-11) POC+SAE -5 Demonstrate how transformations of energy produce some energy in the form of heat and therefore the efficiency of the system is reduced (chemical, biological, and physical systems). PS2 (Ext) 5 Students demonstrate an understanding of energy by 5aa Identifying, measuring, calculating and analyzing qualitative and quantitative relationships associated with energy transfer or energy transformation. Clarifying the Standards Prior Learning In grades K 5, students learned that the sun is a source of heat and that heat can move among different objects, even at a distance. Heat was understood to move from hot objects to cooler ones. Students also learned that heat can be generated by electrical devices and by rubbing two objects together. In grades 6 8, students learned that energy can take different forms and that it can be transformed within a system. They also learned that heat and gravity are associated with energy. Current Learning Students identify a closed system and define the elements of a system. They learn that mechanical energy is the sum of all the potential and kinetic energy in a closed system. Instruction should reinforce the idea that kinetic energy deals with motion, while potential energy is stored energy by virtue of condition or position. Many forms of energy fall under these two categories, and students should be able to identify the types of energy present. Students also analyze the relationships among different forms of energy in a system. They understand that, although various forms of energy appear very different, each can be measured individually. Students also calculate the amount of kinetic and potential energy in a system. The focus of this unit is identifying types of energy and calculating amounts of energy. Future Learning In the next unit, students will delve deeper into energy topics, including energy transformation, transfer, conservation, and work. Energy will continue to play an important role in this course as students learn about electromagnetic waves, the rock cycle, the lifecycle of stars, and electricity. These topics will be further addressed in a grade 11 or 12 physics course. C-22 Cranston Public Schools, in collaboration with

7 Types of Energy (5 days) Physical Science, Quarter 2, Unit 2.2 Final, September Additional Research Findings See the National Science Digital Library s science literary map (Strand map: The Physical Setting / Energy Transformations 9-12; < for the following research on common student misconceptions: Even after some years of physics instruction, students do not distinguish well between heat and temperature when they explain thermal phenomena. The belief that temperature is the measure of heat is particularly resistant to change. Long-term teaching interventions are required for upper middle school students to start differentiating between heat and temperature. Few middle school and high school students understand the molecular basis of heat conduction even after instruction. For example, students attribute properties such as hotness and coldness to particles or believe that heat is produced by particles rubbing against each other. During instruction, upper elementary school students use ideas that give heat an active drive or intent to explain observations of convection currents. They also draw parallels between evaporation, the water cycle, and convection, sometimes explicitly explaining the upward motion of convection currents as evaporation. Students rarely think energy is measurable and quantifiable. Alternative conceptualizations of energy influence students interpretations of textbook representations of energy. Middle school and high school students tend to think that energy transformations involve only one form of energy at a time. Although students may differentiate among forms of energy, they most often describe energy change only in terms of perceivable effects. The transformation of motion to heat seems to be difficult for students to accept, especially in cases with no temperature increase. Finally, it may not be clear to students that some forms of energy, such as light, sound, and chemical energy, can be used to make things happen. The idea of energy conservation seems counterintuitive to middle and high school students because they often hold on to the everyday use of the term energy. Teaching heat dissipation and energy conservation simultaneously may help alleviate this difficulty. Even after instruction, however, students do not seem to appreciate that energy conservation is a useful way to explain phenomena. A key difficulty students have in understanding conservation appears to derive from not considering the appropriate system and environment. In addition, middle school and high school students tend to use their own conceptualizations of energy to interpret energy conservation ideas. For example, some students interpret the idea that energy is not created or destroyed to mean that energy is stored up in the system and can be released again in its original form. Students may also say that energy is not lost when no energy remains at the end of a process because the process produced a measurable effect (for example, a weight was lifted). Although teaching approaches that accommodate students difficulties about energy appear to be more successful than traditional science instruction, the main deficiencies outlined above remain. Cranston Public Schools, in collaboration with C-23

8 Physical Science, Quarter 2, Unit 2.2 Types of Energy (5 days) Final, September 2011 Notes About Resources and Materials C-24 Cranston Public Schools, in collaboration with

9 Physical Science, Quarter 2, Unit 2.3 Energy Transformation and Conservation Overview Number of instructional days: 12 (1 day = 53 minutes) Content to be learned Explain how the Law of Conservation of Energy relates to the efficiency of a system. Use diagrams to show energy transformations that occur within a system. Identify, measure, and calculate how energy transformation reduces the efficiency of a system. Essential questions How is energy transferred within a system? How can mathematics be used to show that energy does not always appear to be conserved within a closed system? If energy does not appear to be conserved within a closed system, then what happens to the lost energy? Processes to be used Calculate and manipulate algebraic equations. Design and implement experimental procedures. Analyze data to form conclusions. Compare and contrast systems. Analyze systems for changes. Compare cause-and-effect relationships. How can you tell if energy has been transformed within a system? What is the relationship between the efficiency of a system and energy transformations? Cranston Public Schools, in collaboration with the C-25 Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin

10 Physical Science, Quarter 2, Unit 2.3 Energy Transformation and Conservation (12 days) Final, September 2011 Grade Span Expectations Written Curriculum PS 2 - Energy is necessary for change to occur in matter. Energy can be stored, transferred, and transformed, but cannot be destroyed. PS2 (9-11) POC+SAE -5 Demonstrate how transformations of energy produce some energy in the form of heat and therefore the efficiency of the system is reduced (chemical, biological, and physical systems). PS2 (9-11)-5 Students demonstrate an understanding of energy by 5a describing or diagramming the changes in energy (transformation) that occur in different systems (eg. chemical = exo and endo thermic reactions, biological = food webs, physical = phase changes). 5b explaining the Law of Conservation of Energy as it relates to the efficiency (loss of heat) of a system. Clarifying the Standards Prior Learning Students were first introduced to the transfer of energy in grades K 2 when they learned that the sun warms both land and water. In grades 3 4, they described how heat moves from warm objects to cold objects, changing the temperature of both objects until they are the same temperature. In grades 5 6, students identified other energy transformations, including sound as the transfer of energy through various materials (e.g., solids, liquids, gases). In grades 7 8, students identified energy transformations in a number of different systems. The transfer of potential energy to kinetic energy was shown in real-world examples, and students constructed models to explain the transformation of energy from one form to another (e.g., a circuit changing electrical energy to light energy in a light bulb). Students identified real-world applications where heat energy is transferred and showed the direction in which heat energy travels. They also explained the difference among conduction, convection, and radiation, and created a diagram to explain how heat energy travels in different directions and through different methods. Lastly, students were introduced to the Law of Conservation of Energy and learned that, while energy may be stored, transferred, or transformed, the total amount of energy is conserved. Current Learning Students track how much of one form of energy is converted into another. They understand that when the amount of energy in one place diminishes, the amount of energy in other places (or in other forms) increases by the same amount. This concept is taught at the reinforcement level of instruction. Students interpret and determine the efficiency of systems through collecting, recording, and analyzing data related to physical-phase changes. Students should understand that even though the energy of individual components of a system may change, the total amount of energy in the system remains constant. C-26 Cranston Public Schools, in collaboration with

11 Energy Transformation and Conservation (12 days) Physical Science, Quarter 2, Unit 2.3 Final, September Students are introduced to experiments and real-world examples dealing with the transfer of potential, kinetic, chemical, and elastic energy. By the end of this unit, students are able to recognize if energy has been transferred; calculate energy transfer using the Law of Conservation of Energy; analyze a system; describe the efficiency within a system; and explain why the system is not 100 percent efficient. Energy transfers produce heat and sound as byproducts. It should also be emphasized that different types of fuel are not different types of energy. For example, coal is not coal energy. Coal is chemical potential energy, just like gasoline, food, or wood. Students should also be introduced to the work energy theorem, which states that energy is the ability to do work. If work has been done, then energy has been transferred or transformed. Energy is allowed to be transferred due to a force acting within the system, hence work being done. Future Learning The next unit will look specifically at energy transfer in earth processes. Energy will continue to play an important role in this course, continuing with the rock cycle, the life cycle of stars, electromagnetic waves, and electricity. These topics will be further addressed in a grade 11 or 12 physics course. The crossed-out portions of this GSE will be addressed in chemistry and biology. Additional Research Findings See the National Science Digital Library s science literary map (Strand map: The Physical Setting / Energy Transformations 9-12; < for the following research on common student misconceptions: Even after some years of physics instruction, students do not distinguish well between heat and temperature when they explain thermal phenomena. The belief that temperature is the measure of heat is particularly resistant to change. Long-term teaching interventions are required for upper middle school students to start differentiating between heat and temperature. Few middle and high school students understand the molecular basis of heat conduction even after instruction. For example, students attribute properties such as hotness and coldness to particles or believe that heat is produced by particles rubbing against each other. During instruction, upper elementary school students use ideas that give heat an active drive or intent to explain observations of convection currents. They also draw parallels between evaporation, the water cycle, and convection, sometimes explicitly explaining the upward motion of convection currents as evaporation. Students rarely think energy is measurable and quantifiable. Alternative conceptualizations of energy influence students interpretations of textbook representations of energy. Middle school and high school students tend to think that energy transformations involve only one form of energy at a time. Although students may differentiate among forms of energy, they most often describe energy change only in terms of perceivable effects. The transformation of motion to heat seems to be difficult for students to accept, especially in cases with no temperature increase. Finally, it may not be clear to students that some forms of energy, such as light, sound, and chemical energy, can be used to make things happen. The idea of energy conservation seems counterintuitive to middle school and high school students because they often hold on to the everyday use of the term energy. Teaching heat dissipation and energy conservation simultaneously may help alleviate this difficulty. Even after instruction, however, students do not seem to appreciate that energy conservation is a useful way to explain phenomena. Cranston Public Schools, in collaboration with C-27

12 Physical Science, Quarter 2, Unit 2.3 Energy Transformation and Conservation (12 days) Final, September 2011 A key difficulty students have in understanding conservation appears to derive from not considering the appropriate system and environment. In addition, middle school and high school students tend to use their own conceptualizations of energy to interpret energy conservation ideas. For example, some students interpret the idea that energy is not created or destroyed to mean that energy is stored up in the system and can be released again in its original form. Students may also say that energy is not lost when no energy remains at the end of a process because the process produced a measurable effect (for example, a weight was lifted). Although teaching approaches that accommodate students difficulties about energy appear to be more successful than traditional science instruction, the main deficiencies outlined above remain. Notes About Resources and Materials C-28 Cranston Public Schools, in collaboration with

13 Physical Science, Quarter 2, Unit 2.4 Energy in Earth Processes Overview Number of instructional days: 10 (1 day = 53 minutes) Content to be learned Explain the causes of the rock cycle, including heat, pressure, friction, and radioactive decay. Explain how energy transfer by convection drives the rock cycle, affect plate movement, and cause seismic activity. Explain how the Law of Conservation of Matter relates to the rock cycle. Explain how advances in technology have changed our understanding of plate tectonics over time. Explain how heat energy fuels geologic processes. Explain how the physical processes of the Earth alter the Earth s crust. Processes to be used Analyze energy transfer. Describe processes. Predict plate movement. Analyze geologic maps. Discuss historical and technological developments. Examine cyclical changes in earth systems. Analyze maps and graphs to identify areas of seismic activity. Essential questions In what ways do energy transfer and changes in temperature and density affect the rock cycle? How has technology changed and improved understanding of plate tectonics? What evidence can be used to predict the kinds of land formations you would expect to find on different types of margins? How does heat from the earth s core transferred by convection affect the geologic features of the earth s crust?

14 Written Curriculum Grade Span Expectations ESS1 - The earth and earth materials as we know them today have developed over long periods of time, through continual change processes. ESS1 (9-11) SAE+ POC 3 Explain how internal and external sources of heat (energy) fuel geologic processes (e.g., rock cycle, plate tectonics, sea floor spreading). ESS1 (9-11) 3 Students demonstrate an understanding of processes and change over time within earth systems by 3a explaining how heat (produced by friction, radioactive decay and pressure) affects the Rock Cycle. 3b explaining how convection circulations of the mantle initiate the movement of the crustal plates which then cause plate movement and seismic activity. 3c investigating and using evidence to explain that conservation in the amount of earth materials occurs during the Rock Cycle. 3d explaining how the physical and chemical processes of the Earth alter the crust (e.g. seafloor spreading, hydrologic cycle, weathering, element cycling). ESS1(9-11)INQ+POC-1 Provided with geologic data (including movement of plates) on a given locale, predict the likelihood for an Earth event (e.g., volcanos, mountain ranges, islands, earthquakes). ESS1 (9-11)-1 Students demonstrate an understanding of processes and changes over time within Earth systems by 1a plotting the location of mountain ranges and recent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions to identify any existing patterns ESS1 (9-11) NOS 2 Trace the development of the theory of plate tectonics or provide supporting geologic/geographic evidence that supports the validity of the theory of plate tectonics. ESS1 (9-11) 2 Students demonstrate an understanding of processes and change over time within earth systems by 2a using given data (diagrams, charts, narratives, etc.) and advances in technology to explain how scientific knowledge regarding plate tectonics has changed over time. Cranston Public Schools, in collaboration with C-30

17 common student misconceptions: Students of all ages may hold the view that the world has always been as it is now, or that any changes that have occurred must have been sudden and comprehensive. The students in these studies did not, however, have any formal instruction on the topics investigated. Moreover, middle school students taught by traditional means are not able to construct coherent explanations about the causes of volcanoes and earthquakes. Cranston Public Schools, in collaboration with C-33

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