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Speed, Energy, Motion, & Colliding Objects 4th Grade Science Unit

This complete unit will help you teach your fourth-grade science class about speed, energy, motion, & colliding objects and will keep your students engaged!

In this fourth-grade speed and energy unit, students will learn about speed and energy and colliding objects. Students will learn that there are cause and effect relationships between speed and energy. They will also learn that changes in energy occur when objects collide. Students will learn how to set up an investigation with independent, dependent, and control variables to test their ideas, record information, and form a conclusion. Students will also learn about potential and kinetic energy. 

If you use the suggested schedule that I’ve included, this unit will cover six days worth of units!

In this fourth grade speed and energy unit, students will learn about speed and energy and colliding objects. Students will learn that there are cause and effect relationships between speed and energy. They will also learn that changes in energy occur when objects collide.

Conducting an investigation

Students will learn how to set up an investigation with independent, dependent, and control variables to test their ideas, record information, and form a conclusion. Students will also learn about potential and kinetic energy. 

Colliding objects and speed and motion

This unit includes hands-on activities, labs, two slide shows, follow-up pages, and videos. Three lab activities!

fourth grade science

The labs require only a few materials: pennies, tennis balls, marbles or bouncy balls, something to make a ramp.

speed and motion

This is a standards-aligned unit designed to cover NGSS 4-PS3-1 and 4-PS3-3 as well as Utah SEEd 4.2.1 and 4.2.2. and • NJSLS 4-PS3-3

NGSS 4-PS3-1. Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object. [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include quantitative measures of changes in the speed of an object or on any precise or quantitative definition of energy.]

NGSS 4-PS3-3. Ask questions and predict outcomes about the changes in energy that occur when objects collide. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the change in the energy due to the change in speed, not on the forces, as objects interact.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include quantitative measurements of energy.]

Utah SEEd Standard 4.2.1

Construct an explanation to describe the cause and effect relationship between the speed of an object and the energy of that object. Emphasize using qualitative descriptions of the relationship between speed and energy like fast, slow, strong, or weak. An example could include a ball that is kicked hard has more energy and travels a greater distance than a ball that is kicked softly. (PS3.A)

Utah SEEd standard 4.2.2

Ask questions and make observations about the changes in energy that occur when objects collide. Emphasize that energy is transferred when objects collide and may be converted to different forms of energy. Examples could include changes in speed when one moving ball collides with another or the transfer of energy when a toy car hits a wall. (PS3.B, PS3.

NJSLS • 4-PS3-3 Ask questions and predict outcomes about the changes in energy that occur when objects collide.

This resource uses lots of scientific phenomena! And is aligned with the Science and Engineering Practices and Crosscutting concepts for these standards. Aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and Utah Science and Engineering Education Standards.

Other teachers LOVE this resource!

Check out two of the dozens of perfect reviews:

This is a great science unit. My students loved the activities and it was easy to find the materials for the labs just around the classroom. Great unit.

Ella W.

This is a great 4th-grade science resource. My students really learned about variables and setting up a fair test and also learned about speed and motion and colliding objects. There is a lot to this!

Pavil S.

Try this unit in your classroom TODAY:

This unit is available for download in two places:

  1. Teaching Science with Lynda on Teachers Pay Teachers
  2. Here on teachingscience.us

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    I am so impressed with this unit which manages to be distance learning and hands-on at the same time.  Really well thought out and engaging activities that allow students to practice each of the eight Science and Engineering Practices.  Really no prep for me!

     
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    I am so impressed with this unit which manages to be distance learning and hands-on at the same time.  Really well thought out and engaging activities that allow students to practice each of the eight Science and Engineering Practices.  Really no prep for me!   Science and Engineering Practices Distance Education Unit
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    The elephant article was excellent but I also thought the lab on dissecting a flower was broken down so easily, even telling me where to get inexpensive flowers!  This resource helped me teach this challenging standard in an engaging way.  Worth every penny!   Structure and Function NGSS 4-LS1-1 and 4-LS1-2
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    As always, Lynda provides perfect alignment with the standards.   Age of the Earth and Geologic Time Scale NGSS MS ESS1-4
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    Thank you so much for creating this resource! It is such a fun and engaging activity for my students, especially during distance learning.   Honey Bee Digital Escape Distance Learning
    My students loved this unit. I was able to present different elements of it throughout the month. It is hard to find interesting non-fictional, age-appropriate text for my students that they will enjoy. This was a great unit that aligned well for my students who have very different goals within the same group.

     
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    Heidi J

    My students loved this unit. I was able to present different elements of it throughout the month. It is hard to find interesting non-fictional, age-appropriate text for my students that they will enjoy. This was a great unit that aligned well for my students who have very different goals within the same group.   Compare and Contrast Two Texts on Reindeer
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