Friday, January 31, 2014

Year 2 - Week 16 - Isaac Newton's 1st Law of Motion!

Directions at bottom of post for making Isaac Newton Costume!
This week we explored the concepts of Newton's 1st Law of Motion through a variety of experiments!  Our history dress up was World War II -so we had some great costumes!  I couldn't resist making a Isaac Newton costume to go with our science for the day!
We sang, wrote and hand motioned through the week's memory work using our lapbooks to start.

Then it was time to get down to some fun, educational business!  We started out by discussing what Newton's First Law of Motion was really all about and defining our grammar terms.  Once again, we were blessed to have our resident Engineer here and she was able to give a good explanation to the kids so they could grasp the concepts related to Newton's first law.  We discussed gravity, force, motion, acceleration, friction and air resistance (molecules). We then reviewed the scientific method before heading off to try our experiments, each time prior to doing the experiment we would; define our purpose, show the materials we were going to be using, explain the procedure we would use, then make an hypothesis about what the results might be, before we actually tried the experiment and came up with the final conclusion.  Sometimes we would create a variable and redo our experiment again, comparing and contrasting our results and discussing why they were different.
Our first experiment was to test out the laws of gravity by taking a rock and a crumpled up piece of paper and dropping them into flour filled pans, to see which would hit first.  We were looking to see if there would be a difference to the timing of when they landed as well as a difference in the impression or depth it went into the flour.  Then we discussed our results and conclusions.
Next we did an experiment making a parachute out of tissue paper, string, tape and paper clips.  There intentionally were two different sized squares they could make their parachute from.
 Once completed they then got ready to release them and see what happened.
We discussed the difference in the time it took to land between the larger and smaller squares and covered the concepts of air resistance, gravity and surface area.  The concepts of pushes and pulls was also introduced through this experiment.
We then took off to become First Law Magicians!  I made "eggs" by using empty Easter eggs filled with rice and taped shut -instead of a raw egg which the experiment called for - I wasn't brave enough for this experiment to give them raw ones.  I then gave them each; a mug, index card and an "egg".  Then they were instructed to lay the egg on the middle of the card over the mug and quickly pull the card out from the egg.  The egg (discussed as being at "rest") was then made to drop into the cup (by gravity/forces pulling down) by another force acting upon it (the removal of the index card).  We encouraged them to go home and dazzle Daddy with their magician skills!
The next experiment we did was to take a raw egg (yes, I was brave on this one and luckily, no one broke an egg!) and they spun their egg on the plate as fast as they could.  Then quickly they touched it with a finger to stop it and then just as quickly, released their finger.  The egg continued to spin once they released their finger even after being stopped.  We discussed mass and acceleration as well as centripetal force and related this experiment to driving in a vehicle and having your Mom slam on the breaks - your body keeps going even though it was at rest, because another force (the breaking motion =acceleration) acted upon it.
Then we moved onto another way to get the concept across by using Connect game pieces stacked and a butter knife.  The kids were instructed to stack them and then quickly with the butter knife, hit just the bottom one and see what happened.  Then we discussed the concepts again, of being in a state of "rest" until another force (the butter knife) acted upon it.
 Well, we really wanted them to get this concept.  So...what better way than to hear it, see it, touch it and now...FEEL it?  I used a therapy swing my son has in the gym and put each child in it one at a time and spun them as fast as I could.  Then I suddenly stopped the swing.  We discussed the ideas of force, mass, acceleration and  centripetal force.  We also discussed the cochlear fluids in the ear and the affect motion and acceleration had on them which equaled them feeling dizzy after the spinning and stopping quickly!  This was the favorite experiment of the day - bar none!  LOL :)  We did it twice each!

Lastly, we tried an experiment to simulate as closely as we could, the idea Newton had of something continuing on forever in a straight line if there was no force to act upon it.  Well, of course in the air here on earth, there are constantly forces acting upon your body and everything else -so you can't totally simulate what it would be like to be devoid of friction/molecules etc.  However, we gave it a college try by using aluminum foil, oil and ice cubes.  We wanted to create as little to no resistance as possible so the kids could see the idea.  Interestingly, the oil actually created friction we found out and slowed the ice down!  The thing that worked the very best was to slide the ice across the blue table because the surface is a slick laminate.  It actually worked better than just aluminum.

The kids played a block stacking game for their memory work review game and ate - you guessed it - apples of course!  Newton loved apples and apple pie!

It was a Wonderful Wednesday exploring Newton's Law!  

If you're interested in how I made the Isaac Newton costume - then here is how I did it.....

Materials for Newton's Wig:

  • Curling ribbon in silver (or white would work)
  • Small paper shopping bag
  • Silver (or white) duck tape
  • Hot glue gun
Materials for Newton's Jabot collar:
  • White paper plate
  • Hot glue
  • Large piece of drawing pad paper


First I took a small paper shopping bag and placed it on my daughter's head to determine where to cut out the face area and how high to cut the back of the bag up, to get towards the base of her head.
Then after it was fitted it well to her head by folding over the corners and gathering up the back of the bag a few inches on each side, I taped it that way.  I then tried it on her head again, to make sure it fit correctly before I continued taping and hot glued the ribbons on.
I made sure to tape the whole thing so that I wouldn't need to use as much curling ribbon -if someone saw through the curling ribbon, it would appear silver and blend.
Next I took apart the curling ribbon that I had purchased from the dollar store and starting at the temple area, I began to hot glue on one strand at a time to make sure it laid how I wanted it.
I placed the ribbon across the top of the head once the sides were as I liked.  I blended them into the sides.
Then to make the jabot - I cut the plate into quarters and stacked them like below.
Next I hot glued the bottom three together and took the top one and flipped it around, so the pointed end was towards the other three pieces -going opposite.  I hot glued that tip, to the top plate's tip and then folded it over.  Next I took my piece of drawing pad paper and folded it hot dog style until it was the size to fit around my daughters neck (about 2 1/2") -like a collar.  I then hot glued it to the top of the folded over paper plate like below.  This became her jabot collar.  I just duck taped it around in the back, for the day she wore it as a costume!

We had a lot of fun making this and the final result was fun too!


  1. Looks like a great week! I'm hoping to remember to link up to your linkie next week. I love the flour science experiment, that would be fun and potentially messy to do.

  2. I love it. Found you at Homegrown Learners. Love all the learning!

  3. What an awesome day! I love all of the great learning.
    Blessings, Dawn

  4. This looks very fun. We studied the laws of motion at our co-op last year, and I did some of those same experiments. :-)
    (I'm stopping by from Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers)

  5. The costume was great! I also love all the experiments. I'm gong to have to think about doing the egg ones soon :-)

  6. My favourite kind of science - so hands-on! We've been investigating the science of flight these last few weeks so I found your post very interesting. We have those swings (partly for my son's vestibular processing issues) - we will have to try the spinning activity, my kids would love it!

  7. EXCELLENT! Thanks for linking with Collage Friday -- and I'm going to be borrowing some of your ideas when we get to Week 16!

  8. Wow! You guys really get into your studies! It's great seeing so many smiling faces enjoying what they're studying! I'm going to browse around your site tonight. Thanks for Linking up to Friendship Friday! I love meeting new people with fresh new ideas!

  9. That looks like a super fun and educational day. I'm definitely pinning this one.

  10. What a great day of learning! Love that costume, too:)

  11. Great experiments to go with the laws of motion! That's our science memory sentence this week, so I'll be coming back to hopefully do some fun activities with my crew this week.
    (Fun with the addition of costumes too!)

  12. Thank you for linking to Science Sunday. As always, the demonstrations and activities are great. My costume-loving son would love your classes.

  13. I love your homeschool! Can you teach me, too?? ;-)

    I showed this post (and the Marie Antoinette post) to my 15-year-old daughter. She loved it. I'm not the creative sort, but she is, so she was impressed.

  14. So awesome, love your hands-on learning days. Totally my style, and what we also love. Another post to bookmark, thank you!

  15. I remember asking you about where you store all your great projects and you mentioned having a shelf up for those things. I think I see it in one of the first that right? I really like that idea =)

  16. Love the wig! And great idea using the therapy swing.