Energy systems


2. Playground


Time and weather permitting, students explore slides in the playground. Students are encouraged to slide themselves in a variety of way and use a number of objects and surfaces to explore.


  • Balls
  • Rubber mats and cardboard for sitting on the slide


  1. Escort the Students to the Playground:
    Introduce the students to the playground and ask them what they see. Ask students which part of the playground they think the class will be using. Lead students to think about the slide and make comparisons to the slide and the ramps used in the previous lesson.

  2. Ground Rules for the Slides:
    Gather the class to discuss safe ground rules for using the slide.

  3. Using the Slide:
    Allow each student to use the slide. Does this suggest a way to get something to move by itself? Have them try a few variations such as:

    • starting only a little way up,
    • trying to slide on a rubber mat or piece of cardboard
    • letting a ball roll down
    • We will revisit these three variations in Lessons 3, 4, 5, and 6, so the playground visit could happen any time between the lessons, or even more than once. If you are not able to take them outside, ask them to recall what happens when they go on the slide.

  4. Class Meeting:
    In the classroom review what happened on the slides and chart the students’ responses. Using an OWL chart write down what the students Observed and what they Want to Know More About. Later in the unit you can revisit this chart and fill in what the students Learned.

  5. Science Notebook:

    • Draw and write about what you did on the slide.

  6. Outcomes
    Students explore a variety of things that might alter how things slide.