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Energy, Forces, Light, Sound, Magnets, and So Much More
Think physics is only for geeks? Think again! Physics is a fascinating facet of science that is especially relevant to children -- pushing and pulling, falling and leaping are all components of this science. Even elementary students can benefit from a study of physics. Use this page to help you design your own physics lapbook or unit study.
Forces and the Laws of Motion
Also be sure to check out Energy Kids' Page Resources there are divided by grade level. Look for printables about friction, simple machines, and forces. Many of the PDFs have nice graphics and diagrams that could be used in minibooks.
Sparklebox has a Forces and Movement printables that would be especially good for younger children. Make them into a memory game, flashcards, a poster, or a minibook.
Isaac Newton wrote the three laws of motion.
1. An object in motion will remain in motion and an object at rest will remain at rest UNLESS acted upon by a force
2. Force = mass x acceleration
3. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction
Click HERE for the Three Laws of Motion window minibook template I created. It will open as a PDF in another window.
Newton's 3 Laws of Motion has simple animated gifs and explanations of these laws that we used in our study.
A Physics Reference
You will probably want some books to serve as the foundation of your study. Or, if you need a quick answer to something, try Physics 4 Kids, something of an online textbook.
Another nice resource is Next Time Questions. Each PDF has a one page question with an accompanying cartoon illustration. The question is designed to make your child think, using physics principles to answer. The second page has some explanations and the answer.
Although we often reference online information, nothing is as convenient as a book in my opinion. This book would serve well as a physics spine.
Forces & Motion Lapbook - Made With Great Science Adventures: The World of Tools and TechnologyClick thumbnail to view full-size
Great Science Adventures - The World of Tools and Technology
We made the lapbook pictured above during our four week study of forces and motion. Many of the reproducibles and ideas came from Dinah Zike's Great Science Adventures: The World of Tools and Technology.
This book is a great resource for lapbooking physics topics. It covers all of the six simple machines as well as work and friction.
Simple Machines - Printables for a Lapbook
The six simple machines are
- inclined plane
- wheel & axle
We used Dinah Zike's Great Science Adventures The World of Tools and Technology as a resource. In 24 lessons it presents the six simple machines, with mini-books for each lesson.
- FREE --EdHeads Lesson Plans
The Simple Machines Web Quest is actually a nice printable graph for identifying types of machines throughout a normal household.
- FREE --Pasco Partners
A grade 3 unit study about simple machines that incorporates language, science, and math. There are some good ideas here and some nice graphics that may be appropriate for a minibook.
- FREE --Simple Machines Coloring Book
Print the pictures and bind together to make a Simple Machines Coloring Book.
- FREE --Simple Machines Lapbook
Here is a freebie hosted at Mediafire. Enjoy!
- FREE --Museum of Science and Industry's Field Trip Worksheets
Simple Machines pages designed to be used on a field trip to the museum. But you can use them alone as well. Suggested for grades 2 - 8.
- RETAIL -- Hands of a Child Simple Machines Lapbook
Buying a kit makes things easier. This lapbook kit has all you need for simple machines.
Light and Color LapbookClick thumbnail to view full-size
Great Science Adventures - The World of Light and Sound
Above is the lapbook my daughter made during the few weeks we studied light and color. We took several ideas and reproducible templates from the book below.
This book was created by Dinah Zike, a well known name in lapbooking circles. 24 lessons take you through a study of light, color, mirrors, lasers, heat, and sound. In each lesson you will make one or more mini-books. The directions and reproducible pages are all included as well as ideas for activities and experiments.
Although this book can stand alone as a science curriculum, it also serves well as a lapbooking supplement to another physics study. I have this book and use it as a lapbooking supplement to Noeo Science Physics 1 curriculum.
Light and Sound - Printables for a Lapbook
Here are some most basic concepts about light that you should be sure to include in your physics unit study.
- Light is energy.
- It travels in straight path.
- Reflection is bouncing off.
- Refraction is passing through and bending.
- Translucent means light passes through and opaque means light cannot pass through.
- Luminous objects create light.
- FREE --Educational Songs
For quaint educational songs about light, listen to Did You Ever See a Rainbow? and Why is the Sky Blue?
- FREE -- Teacher Vision Printable
Assemble a pop-up book that describes the invention of the light bulb. (This is actually a paid site, but they offer a few free samples before requiring you to pay.)
- FREE -- Torah Tots Coloring Page
Torah Tots has a great light bulb coloring page that makes a great shape book template!
- FREE -- Homeschool Helper's Light Lapbook
An entire light lapbook.
- FREE -- Lightbulb Trifold Template
Click on the image to the right for a printable template of the lightbulb shaped trifold pictured. For the same file in A4 format, click here.
- FREE -- Pasco Partners
A unit study about sound that incorporates language, science, and math.
- FREE -- Lapbooks by Carisa -- Rainbows
Here is a great minibook printable about the colors of light using the ROYGBIV mnemonic device. A homeschool mom made this!
- FREE -- Notebook Learning Blog
Notebook Learning Blog offers some GREAT notebooking pages that will suit even the youngest learners. All of Melanie's pages come in four versions of handwriting styles in doc files. Try these: What is Light? and The Visible Spectrum.
- FREE -- Melanie Lewis's File Cabinet
Inside this file cabinet, there is a great PDF called Science Experiments full of attractive pages about light and sound.
Sound LapbookClick thumbnail to view full-size
Energy - Kinetic, Potential, Renewable, Non-renewable
Free energy printables and songs! Check out these options for your lapbook and unit study.
- FREE -- What is Energy? Song
Educational Song for learning about energy!
- FREE -- Kinetic and Potential Energy Song
Another educational song!
- FREE -- Energy Education Resources
This long list of links offers some gems. Especially good are the Renewable Energy Coloring Book, the Classroom Energy Poster Puzzle, and the Texas Solar Energy Coloring Book.
- FREE -- Renewable and Nonrenewable Sources of Energy
The last page of this document is a set of small cards. Turn this into a game for your lapbook. Make two pockets -- one for the renewable energy sources and another for the nonrenewable ones.
- FREE -- Energy Kids' Page
Resources are divided by grade level. Topics include a lot about energy but also friction, simple machines, and forces. Many of the PDFs have nice graphics and diagrams that could be used in minibooks.
- IDEAS -- Heat and Energy Lapbook
Sorry, no freebies here except great ideas. Kristen, a homeschooling mom, shares photos of her son's lapbook and some resources she used.
- FREE -- Types of Energy Coloring Page
A connect-the-dots worksheet to review different types of energy with kids.
- Electrons flowing along a path = electricity
- Direct current (DC)
- Alternating current (AC)
- Conductors allow the flow of electricity
- Insulators stop the flow of electricity
Visit some of these links for free resources about electricity.
- FREE -- Electricity Lapbook at Homework Helper
Homeschool Helper Online offers several free printable minibooks about electricity.
- FREE -- Electricity Lapbook #2
Over ten free minibook templates, complete with graphics. This PDF also includes photographs of the completed lapbook to give you a placement guide. (Elementary level)
- FREE -- Electricity Song
Learn the fun way-- sing! This educational song will teach about electricity in a way that's easy to memorize.
Magnet LapbookClick thumbnail to view full-size
Magnetism Facts and Links
Above is my daughter's magnets lapbook. For extra fun, we cut this lapbook into a curved shape on one end to resemble a horseshoe magnet.
Facts about magnets:
- Have north and south poles
- Exert force on metals
- It is a Magnet Song
Another fun educational song that makes memorizing fun!
- Magnet Coloring Page and Notebooking Page
This coloring page would be nice for younger students, or for a template to make a shape book. click on the next button to reach a notebooking page decorated with magnets.
- Magnet Minibook Printables
These minibook templates are ready to print and fill in with the facts you've learned about magnets. Or record observations from your experiments in them. Scroll down to the M for Magnet section.
Of course, your study of physics should incorporate some hands-on experiments! Not only are they fun, but they also teach the principles in a way that is memorable.
For a freebie, try this well made PDF file of physics experiments complete with diagrams and drawings.
The Science Spot has some lesson plans that are actually great projects for experiencing physics first hand.
101 experiments, each with a purpose, a list of materials, step-by-step instructions, expected results, and an easy to understand explanation. Every activity has been pretested and can be performed safely and inexpensively in the classroom or at home.
What is your favorite aspect of physics?
- Color Me Physics
This PDF coloring book features famous physicists.
- Albert Einstein Printables
Wordsearch puzzle, a notebooking page,a coloring page, and more -- all related to this famous scientist.
- Online History Exhibits
Several physicists are featured here -- Marie Curie, Einstein, J.J. Thompson (discoverer of the electron). The Einstein PDF is a remarkable 92 page document with many images, a timeline, and lots of text.
- Isaac Newton Coloring Page
This cartoon style coloring page from Crayola depicts the traditional story of Newton's being struck in the head with a falling apple. A bit corny, but you certainly want your child to understand this commonly told story.
- Edison and Marconi Skits
Create some fun by acting out a skit about the inventor of the lightbulb or the inventor of the radio!
- RETAIL: School Express Units
Famous scientists include Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, and Galileo. These used to be free and are now $2 per unit.
- FREE Einstein Lapbook
This PDF includes templates for making an entire lapbook about Einstein! Amazingly, it's free!
- Free Astronomer Notebooking Pages
Scientists include Giovanni Cassini, Nicolaus Copernicus, Johan Kepler, and Tycho Brache.
Online Fun with Physics
Try these online games or simulations to reinforce your lessons.
- BBC Physical Processes Games
Changing Sounds, Changing Circuits, Friction, Forces in Action, and more! (Scroll to bottom of the page.)
- Nobel Prize in Physics
Five games -- The Integrated Circuit, Invar & Steel Alloys, Laser, Liquid Crystals, The Transistor.
- Simple Machines Interactive Game
Explore simple machines with Ed Head.
- Phun - 2D Physics Sandbox
Free software download for a game involving physics concepts -- create machines in a virtual world.
- Fantastic Contraption
An online flash puzzle game where you build whimsical machines to solve each level. Save your contraptions and share them with your friends. Free!
- Newton's Apple : Physics and Sports Videos
Newton's Apple has lots of interesting videos that teach about physics, especially physics in sports.
- Fundamental Physics in Space
A temperature game, Newtonian physics in space, and shooting a cannonball into orbit are three games available here.
In this interesting particle simulation, you can drag balls around as you observe the reactions. Friction, Repulsion, and Attraction can be adjusted.
- Blobz Guide to Electric Circuits
Online game for several players to learn about circuits.