As an elementary school teacher, I explore in this unit the role physics and its principles play in our lives and the way man has become aware of these principles throughout history, utilized them, even when not understood, to both build civilizations and to better our lives. My objective is to bring my students’ attention to different classroom and playground objects that make use of the laws and principles of physics, and to encourage students to explore their surroundings looking for these principles.
This unit focuses on the area of mechanics by allowing children to explore and become familiar with the laws of motion and simple machines. Through the use of concrete examples that contextualize and make meaningful the physics principles and processes involved in their day-to-day living, students are able to understand how the above physics principles are essential and integral part of many important objects around us. Therefore, as we uncover and discover the world that surrounds us, we explain the reasons as to why things work the way they do and how they affect our everyday life.
Given the fact children are especially curious as to why everything is the way it is, share an insatiable wonder about their environment and the objects they use as they try to make sense of them. This unit taps into their innate curiosity as we study simple machines.
In another sense this unit will attempt to ignite the students’ wondering curiosity as the central force that directs and guides our study of different classroom and playground objects. Finally, students will be able to generalize the learned concepts to their own lives.
For such a purpose I make use of constructivist theories of learning, which have the student create meaning from their interaction between other class members, the adults in the home, the classroom, the school setting, and the community that surrounds the student. Thus, I view learning not as a passive knowledge acquisition process, but as an active awareness and way of knowing by each individual student that originates in one’s experiential reality.
This unit’s objectives are thus multidimensional, multidirectional, and multidisciplinary in the approach to discussing and covering the mechanical physics principals concerning our everyday life in the classroom and at home.
The playground becomes our laboratory where those principles studied in the classroom, have been introduced and are concrete to the student’s experiences. The laws of motion are presented within the context of day-to-day life experiences, the physics principles