Push or Pull?

By: Brittany Udell



It takes energy to change the motion of objects. Energy change is understood by force- a push or pull. Some forces act through physical contact, while others act at a distance.
The student will understand what force, push and pull is.

Keywords: force, push, pull, sort, categorize, HOT, Kagan,


Listen to a book on Force and Motion.
Demonstrate (as a class) the act of pushing or pulling an object to make it move.
Sort pictures (in groups) into categories of pushing, pulling or both.
Write (individually) whether a picture shows a push or a pull.


SC.K.P.13.1 Observe that a push or a pull can change the way an object is moving.


Academic Preparation

The teacher should print out the attached FCIT clipart document. He/she should cut and bag the pictures based on how many groups their are. The teacher will need to have ready the following materials: book about Force/push/pull, heavy object to be pushed or pulled (ex- box), hula-hoop (optional), FCIT clipart pictures demonstrating examples of push/pull, and the attached push/pull worksheet per student.


1. Introduce the students to a book about forces. I used the book "Forces and Motion" big book by Lisa Trumbauer. Read about motion, force, push and pull from pages 2-5.
Explain that a force is a “push or pull that makes an object move.” Write on the board force: push or pull. Tell the students that an object won’t move without a force of some kind being applied to it.
2. Bring a heavy box to the front of the room. Have a student push it away. Have the students tell you whether it was a push or pull that moved it. Now have another child pull the box towards them self. Ask the students what force moved the box.
Higher order thinking (HOT): "So it is force that makes the box move. Now this box is really heavy. It is hard for one person to move it. Let’s have two people try to move the box. Let’s have three people try to move the box. What did you notice about the box when three people move it? (It went farther/It was easier to move.) So the more force, the easier it is to move something. You have three strong kids moving it instead of just one."
3. Place a variety of pictures around the classroom in two hula-hoops. Split students through Kagan cooperative learning model to sort pictures by push/pull. Also put pictures that could be in both categories for higher order thinking. I will circulate to evoke questions and help low-level learners.
4. Distribute a “Push or Pull” worksheet to each student.(See attachment below.) Review the directions. Read the definition at the top of the page and complete it as a class. Tell them if they finish early, they can describe their shoulder partners picture.
5. .Allow time for the students to complete the worksheet. Review the answers as a class.
6.Collect the students’ worksheets.
7. Finish lesson by summing up what was learned. "Today we talked about what push and pull is. Force is what moves an object."


Take anecdotal notes about the students’ participation in class discussions. Evaluate the students’ worksheet for their achievement of the lesson’s objectives.

Estimated Lesson Duration

0hr 30min


  • http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/index.htm

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