Module 3: Science – energy and movement

Section 1 : Everyday forces - investigating movement

Key Focus Question: How can we find out and build on pupils’ ideas about forces?

Keywords: force; investigation; brainstorming; floating; games; friction

Learning outcomes

By the end of this section, you will have:

  • used different methods to find out pupils’ ideas about forces around them;
  • considered how to record your own and pupils’ learning in this topic;
  • supported your pupils to do investigations in small groups.


The most obvious thing about our world is the amount of movement that is happening almost all the time. What powerful natural forces drive this movement? What is force, and how do we explain its effects? How do we make use of forces to make life easier or better?

Here we look at different ways to find out how pupils make sense of everyday forces. As their teacher, your challenge is to help them explore and assess possible explanations for how forces cause changes.

1. Discussing Forces in everyday life