Explore Together (indoors): Indoor Ramp Rolling

  • “All About Ramps” chart
  • boxes and other objects to prop up cardboard ramps
  • camera or video camera
  • clipboards
  • flat pieces of cardboard to serve as ramps
  • markers
  • paper
  • pictures of indoor ramps
  • various objects of different size and weight to roll down the ramps (balls, blocks, tin cans, toy cars, etc.)
  • faster
  • incline plane
  • move
  • ramp
  • roll
  • slant
  • slide (n., v.)

MA Standards:

Language/L.PK.MA.6: Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, listening to books read aloud, activities, and play.

MA Draft Standards:

Physical Sciences/Motion and Stability; Forces and Interaction/PS2.A Plan and carry out investigations of the behaviors of moving things.
Physical Sciences/Motion and Stability; Forces and Interaction /PS2.B: Using evidence, discuss ideas about what is making something move the way it does and how some movements can be controlled. [Cause and Effect, Stability and Change]

Head Start Outcomes:

Logic and Reasoning/Reasoning and Problem Solving: Recognizes cause and effect relationships.
Science Knowledge/Scientific Skills and Method: Uses senses and tools, including technology, to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships.
Science Knowledge/Scientific Skills and Method: Collects, describes, and records information through discussions, drawings, maps, and charts.

PreK Learning Guidelines:

English Language Arts/Language 2: Participate actively in discussions, listen to the ideas of others, and ask and answer relevant questions.
Science and Technology/Inquiry Skills 4: Record observations and share ideas through simple forms of representation such as drawings.

Explore Together (indoors): Indoor Ramp Rolling

© Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Early Education and Care (Jennifer Waddell photographer). All rights reserved.

STEM Key Concepts: Understand that a ramp, or inclined plane, is a surface with one end higher than the other; Recognize that an object placed on an inclined plane will roll, slide, or stay put

ELA Focus Skills: Follow Directions, Predicting, Speaking and Listening, Vocabulary

Have children work in small groups. Explain that each group will need to find an area in the room to build a ramp. Explain that they need to find an area large enough so it does not bump into another group’s ramp.

  • Encourage children to look at the pictures of ramps as they think about how a ramp is made. (a slanted surface and a support base)
  • Tell them they will need to choose something to support the cardboard incline, such as a chair, blocks, a table, etc. Encourage children to explore raising and lowering the surface of their cardboard ramp as they also explore sending things down the ramp.

Allow children time to freely explore the materials. Observe children at work, noticing what captures their attention. Engage them in conversation about their observations. Prompt discussion about how they are building their ramps and how the different objects are moving down the ramps. Encourage children to use the key concept vocabulary they have been learning during the unit (fasterinclined plane, ramp, roll, slant, slideslower). Ask questions such as,

  • What do you think will happen if you add more blocks to your support?
  • What did you do to make the block move faster down the ramp?

Have children record their observations on clipboards as they explore. Take pictures of some of the children’s constructions to record them so they can talk about them even after they are dismantled.

Reflect and Share
Gather children and discuss the ramp observations. Have children use the photos or video as they share their observations. Point to photos or video as you ask questions such as,

  • Why do you think Lydia’s marker rolled down the ramp faster than Max’s marker?
  • How did you make the tin can move slowly down the ramp?
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