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Gravity on Earth Science Stations for Fifth Grade

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Ever have one of THOSE weeks, where you think you’re prepared to guide your fifth-grade students to the highest heights of science learning, only to feel like some unseen force is pulling you back down? You’ve tried to prepare, but the overwhelming task of teaching the NGSS standards seem to weigh on you, making it difficult to get a jump on things. Trust us when we say, you’re not alone.

These Gravity on Earth Next Generation Science Stations include eight different science stations where students deepen their understanding of gravitational force, mass, weight, the pull on an object toward the planet's center, and more. The focus is on 5-PS2-1. Each station is designed to last about 15-20 minutes.

Because many of us have felt overhwelmed, we’ve developed these fifth-grade Gravity on Earth Science Stations to help relieve some of that pressure. They might even put a little extra bounce in your step!

Through eight different science stations, your students will gain a better understanding of gravity, including mass, weight, and the pull of an object toward the Earth’s center. All of these stations meet the Next Generation Science Standards for Fifth Grade (5-PS2-1).

We include everything the NGSS standards require for your fifth-graders to understand Gravity on Earth. These eight different science stations all teach and incorporate important skills through labs, experiments, videos, reading passages, and games. They’re fun, engaging, and your students will love them!

Let’s take a closer look to find out what that looks like!

What’s Included in the Gravity on Earth Science Stations

Let’s start by going over what these science stations are actually about. In these stations, students learn about gravitational force. What’s the difference between weight and mass, and what do they have to do with gravity? How does air resistence play a role in an object’s reaction to the pull of gravity?

Students make observations, construct explanations, use evidence to support a claim, and design solutions to problems throughout the Gravity on Earth unit to find out answers to these questions and more. The science stations contain challenging material for fifth graders, with new words and concepts in easy-to-implement, interactive stations.

Focus on NGSS Standards for 5-PS2-1

Next Generation Science Standards are written to be “Three Dimensional.”  The three dimensions are Performance Expectation, Disciplinary Core Idea, and Science and Engineering Practices/Crosscutting Concepts.

The Gravity on Earth Science Stations Unit focuses on these standards:

  • Performance Expectation 5-PS2-1. Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down.
  • Disciplinary Core Idea:
    • 5-PS2.B – The gravitational force of Earth acting on an object near Earth’s surface pulls that object toward the planet’s center.
  • Science and Engineering Practice: Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
    • Planning and carrying out investigations to answer questions or test solutions to problems in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to include investigations that control variables and provide evidence to support explanations or design solutions.
      • Conduct an investigation collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence, using fair tests in which variables are controlled and the number of trials considered.
  • Crosscutting Concept: Cause and Effect
    • Cause and effect relationships are routinely identified, tested, and used to explain change.

Big Idea Posters for Gravity on Earth

Bit Idea posters are a great way to explain the core science ideas that students will learn in this unit of study.

Some of the Big Ideas include:

  • The difference between Mass and Weight, and how both are related to gravity
  • How Friction and Air Resistance relate to Gravity
  • What Gravitational Force is
These Gravity on Earth Next Generation Science Stations include eight different science stations where students deepen their understanding of gravitational force, mass, weight, the pull on an object toward the planet's center, and more. The focus is on 5-PS2-1. Each station is designed to last about 15-20 minutes.

There are six Big Idea Posters in this unit. Only the Gravity on Earth Unit Bundle includes the Big Idea Posters. The Posters are not included for each individual station.

Vocabulary Cards

You need vocabulary cards in order to help your students understand what they’re reading about, right? The problem is, your students might not be thrilled about them. Maybe, they’re a little intimidated by them, too. We have a solution that will make vocabulary cards appealing and exciting.

These Gravity on Earth Next Generation Science Stations include eight different science stations where students deepen their understanding of gravitational force, mass, weight, the pull on an object toward the planet's center, and more. The focus is on 5-PS2-1. Each station is designed to last about 15-20 minutes.

Included in the Gravity on Earth Unit Bundle are two sets of vocabulary cards. They are not available for each individual science station.

One set of vocabulary cards includes colorful pictures with the words and to-the-point definitions. Each card has cutting lines, which makes this set perfect for a matching game. Cut out the three sections (picture, word, definition), mix them all up, and let the fun begin!

Pro-tip: Laminate the cards and you can use them year after year. Or, you can have your students glue them in their science notebooks.

The second set of cards is perfect for a science word wall. Each card comes with the word and definition in a larger font. It makes for great classroom reminders.

Differentiated Responses for Each Science Station

The old saying “one size fits all” has never proven true for anything. It’s especially not true when it comes to teaching children. That’s why all of our science stations, including the Gravity on Earth Science Stations, are created with the idea to offer five different ways for students to interact with each station. They include:

  • short answer questions
  • fill-in-the-blank questions without a word bank
  • fill-in-the-blank with a word bank
  • task cards with short answers
  • task cards with multiple choice

All the variations are similar to one another but require a different level of independence. The fill-in-the-blank is the easiest and is perfect for your students who struggle with reading.  The short answer is the most difficult as it requires students to construct their own responses without much support.

Choose the format that best fits your classroom and students. Students are also encouraged to use their science journal task cards.  Answer keys are included.

Some activities also include an activity sheet or worksheet in addition to the differentiated responses. This activity sheet is the “work” of the station while the differentiated responses require students to think broadly about the topic and concept.

You can find examples of the questions in some of the images below.

Reading Passages for Gravity on Earth Science Stations

All stations, except the Watch and Play stations include reading passages. Most of the reading passages are optional, but they do build students’ background knowledge and solidify key concepts. Use them if your students do not have prior knowledge of the topic of the station.

The reading passages come in two formats. You’ll see versions of both of these formats in the photographs below. Both versions have the same text, but different layouts.

  • Full-page with color border
  • Two-Column with a black border

See examples of the two formats in the images below.

Google Classroom Components

All of our fifth-grade science stations come with components easily integrated with Google Classroom. Google Forms and Google Slides are included for most stations.

  • A Google Form™️ with Reading Passage & Differentiated Questions is available for the Watch, Investigate, Diagram, Read, Model, Explore and Sort stations.
  • Google Slides™️ with Activity Directions & Worksheets are available for for Investigate, Diagram, Model, Explore, and Sort.

Most of the hands-on activities still require physical components, but we have provided the directions and recording sheets in Google Slides.

Watch a Video about Gravitational Forces

Perfect for the big classroom screen or personal devices, this station will have students watching a video or two about Gravity. One video offered is about gravitational force, while the other is about how mass, weight, and air resistance relate to gravity. We recommend that you pick one video, but if you have the time, feel free to do both.

After watching, students will answer questions about the video. This station contains several worksheets with open-ended, short-answer questions, fill-in-the-blank sentences, and more. Task cards are also included.

These Gravity on Earth Next Generation Science Stations include eight different science stations where students deepen their understanding of gravitational force, mass, weight, the pull on an object toward the planet's center, and more. The focus is on 5-PS2-1. Each station is designed to last about 15-20 minutes.

There are two videos included in this science station. One of the videos is pictured here.

Play a Game About Gravity

One of students’ favorite stations (of course…): The Play A Game Science Station! In this station, students will play a board game or complete a crossword puzzle or word search puzzle to reinforce what they have learned about gravity.

During the board game, students work together to answer questions and move along the board. T-E-A-M-W-O-R-K!

Also included are a crossword puzzle and word search. There are two versions of the crossword puzzle; one with a word list, and one without. The crossword puzzle and word search also come in digital formats. The digital form changes each time the page is loaded so each student can work on his or her own versions of the puzzles.

Investigate Gravity with a Marble Run

Who doesn’t love a good marble run? In this station, students read about gravity, then try and predict how gravity will affect the marble on its track. Differentiated questions to see if students are staying on track with what they’ve learned are included

These Gravity on Earth Next Generation Science Stations include eight different science stations where students deepen their understanding of gravitational force, mass, weight, the pull on an object toward the planet's center, and more. The focus is on 5-PS2-1. Each station is designed to last about 15-20 minutes.
These Gravity on Earth Next Generation Science Stations include eight different science stations where students deepen their understanding of gravitational force, mass, weight, the pull on an object toward the planet's center, and more. The focus is on 5-PS2-1. Each station is designed to last about 15-20 minutes.

Diagram the Direction of Gravity

In this station, students read about gravitational force and other forces that affect it. They will then create a diagram to illustrate what they read.

These Gravity on Earth Next Generation Science Stations include eight different science stations where students deepen their understanding of gravitational force, mass, weight, the pull on an object toward the planet's center, and more. The focus is on 5-PS2-1. Each station is designed to last about 15-20 minutes.
These Gravity on Earth Next Generation Science Stations include eight different science stations where students deepen their understanding of gravitational force, mass, weight, the pull on an object toward the planet's center, and more. The focus is on 5-PS2-1. Each station is designed to last about 15-20 minutes.

Read About Gravitational Force

Students read and answer questions about gravitational force in this station. It can be perfect to use for individual reading, or classroom cooperative reading.

These Gravity on Earth Next Generation Science Stations include eight different science stations where students deepen their understanding of gravitational force, mass, weight, the pull on an object toward the planet's center, and more. The focus is on 5-PS2-1. Each station is designed to last about 15-20 minutes.

Model Gravity Using a Parachute

Have you ever been skydiving? What about your students? Do they know how parachutes work? In this station, students will read about gravitational force and how other forces affect it. They will then model how these other forces affect gravity with the example of a parachute!

These Gravity on Earth Next Generation Science Stations include eight different science stations where students deepen their understanding of gravitational force, mass, weight, the pull on an object toward the planet's center, and more. The focus is on 5-PS2-1. Each station is designed to last about 15-20 minutes.
These Gravity on Earth Next Generation Science Stations include eight different science stations where students deepen their understanding of gravitational force, mass, weight, the pull on an object toward the planet's center, and more. The focus is on 5-PS2-1. Each station is designed to last about 15-20 minutes.

Explore Gravity with a Race to the Bottom

Pinewood derby’s are popular do-it-yourself (or rather, parents-do-it) races. Racers construct racecars out of pinewood blocks, and send them down long decline tracks, hoping theirs will reach the bottom first. But, how do they make their car faster than anuone else’s? And, what does any of this have to do with gravity? In this station, students read about gravitational force, the other foreces that affect it, and answer questions about what they read. Hopefully, after exploring this station, they’ll have an advantage the next time they make their supreme racecar!

These Gravity on Earth Next Generation Science Stations include eight different science stations where students deepen their understanding of gravitational force, mass, weight, the pull on an object toward the planet's center, and more. The focus is on 5-PS2-1. Each station is designed to last about 15-20 minutes.
These Gravity on Earth Next Generation Science Stations include eight different science stations where students deepen their understanding of gravitational force, mass, weight, the pull on an object toward the planet's center, and more. The focus is on 5-PS2-1. Each station is designed to last about 15-20 minutes.

Sort Gravitational Force or Not

In this station, students will read about gravitational force, and all the forces that affect it, then play a sorting game. They will sort various scenarios into two categories: Result of a Gravitational Force, or Not the Result of a Gravitational Force.

These Gravity on Earth Next Generation Science Stations include eight different science stations where students deepen their understanding of gravitational force, mass, weight, the pull on an object toward the planet's center, and more. The focus is on 5-PS2-1. Each station is designed to last about 15-20 minutes.

Here are a few examples for you to try. Which is caused by gravitational forces, and which aren’t?

  • The moon stays close to theEarth.
  • When things bake in the oven, they turn brown and look differently.
  • Electricity causes the TV toturn on.
  • The planets stay in orbitaround the sun.
  • Ice melts and becomes water.
These Gravity on Earth Next Generation Science Stations include eight different science stations where students deepen their understanding of gravitational force, mass, weight, the pull on an object toward the planet's center, and more. The focus is on 5-PS2-1. Each station is designed to last about 15-20 minutes.

How to Purchase the Fifth Grade Gravity of Earth Science Stations

The Gravity of Earth Science Station Unit can be purchased on my website or on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Other Fifth Grade Science Stations

We have fifth-grade science stations for all of the NGSS Standards. Click below for information about each one!

Gravity on Earth Science Stations for Fifth Grade

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