Explore Together (indoors): Build Steeper Ramps

  • cardboard tubes
  • flat pieces of cardboard or foam core
  • small objects that will roll or slide
  • toys with wheels
  • wooden building blocks for propping up ramps
  • ramp
  • steep
  • steeper

MA Standards:

English Language Arts/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.

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/Physical Sciences 21: Explore and describe various actions that can change an object’s motion such as pulling, pushing, twisting, rolling, and throwing.

Explore Together (indoors): Build Steeper Ramps

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

STEM Key Concepts: A ramp is a surface with one end higher than the other; An object placed on an inclined plane will roll, slide, or stay put; Rolling and sliding objects move faster down a steeper incline

ELA Focus Skills: Speaking and Listening, Vocabulary

Have children continue exploring the “Steeper and Steeper” activity by building and freely exploring ramps of different steepness on their own.

Provide assistance as needed. As children work, encourage them to share ideas with each other. Say,

  • Erica has a steep ramp, how do you think she can make her ramp steeper?
  • What ramp do you think Maria should use to make her block go down the ramp faster? Why do you think that? 

Encourage children to roll and slide objects down their ramps and compare how far each traveled. Discuss the wheeled toys and how the wheels help the object move down the ramp. Encourage them to make connections to the book What Do Wheels Do All Day by April Jones Prince?

Notice what is capturing children’s attention and note things that spark their interest during their explorations. Document children’s explorations by taking photographs or videotaping them as they explore.

Reflect and Share
Invite children to share their experiences building ramps. Ask children to share any problems they had and how they worked with others to solve the problems.

Use the photographs and videos you took to guide and prompt discussion with children.

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