teaching resource

Understanding Forces – Task Cards

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide, PDF | 1 page | Grades: 3 - 4

Explore force and motion concepts and how they are presented in the real world with this set of 24 task cards.

Force and Motion for Kids

Are your students starting to investigate different types of movement and force? Maybe they are learning how an object moves, what it means to be at rest, or how certain materials can repel or attract metal. Teach Starter has created a set of task cards to help your student improve their understanding of science-related vocabulary. Some of the vocabulary terms used with these task cards include:

  • Gravity
  • In motion
  • Push
  • Pull
  • Attract
  • Force
  • Friction
  • And more!

To play, place the cards around the room, so students have enough space to work on each one. Pass out recording sheets. Have students choose one question each to start at. Give them enough time at each question before saying, “SCOOT!”. They will move in order from the number they started at (ex., 4, 5, 6, etc.) until they have completed every question. 

Through this activity, students will demonstrate an understanding of how different types of forces (friction, gravity, push/pull, magnetism, etc.) are present in real-world scenarios.

Tips for Differentiation + Scaffolding 

A team of dedicated, experienced educators created this resource to support your science lessons.

In addition to individual student work time, use this set of task cards to enhance learning through guided science groups, whole class lessons, or remote learning assignments. 

If you have a mixture of above and below-level learners, check out these suggestions for keeping students on track with the concepts: 

🆘 Support Struggling Students

If there are students who need extra support, encourage them to reference vocabulary cards or posters to help them with the definitions of each term used on a task card.

➕ Challenge Fast Finishers

For students who need a bit of a challenge, encourage them to create an infographic or a poster showing different types of forces in the real world.

🛴 Scoot Activity 

Place the cards around the room in numerical order and give each student a recording sheet. Assign students or pairs to a starting point card. Give students time to review the card and record their answers in the corresponding space on their paper. Students will rotate to the next card when you say, “SCOOT!” Continue in this manner until students return to their starting point. 

👋 Exit Ticket 

Use these cards as a formative assessment after your lesson. Pick a random assortment of cards and project them on the board for the whole class to see. Students can record their answers on a sheet of paper, sticky note, or their notebook. 

Plan lessons for all ability levels with our 10 Best Scaffolding Strategies! 

Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students

Use the dropdown icon on the Download button to choose between the PDF or editable Google Slides version of this resource. A recording sheet and answer key are also included with this download. 

Print on cardstock for added durability and longevity. Place all pieces in a folder or large envelope for easy access. 

To keep the task cards out of pockets or under desks, punch a hole in the corner of each to place them on a binder ring. 

Sustainability Tip: Print a few recording sheets on cardstock and slip them into dry-erase sleeves. Students can record their answers with a whiteboard marker, then erase and reuse them.  

This resource was created by Kaylyn Chupp, a teacher in Florida and Teach Starter Collaborator. 

Don’t stop there! We’ve got more activities and resources that cut down on lesson planning time:  

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Force and Motion Vocabulary Puzzles

Reinforce science vocabulary with this set of 22 force and motion vocabulary puzzles.

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Force and Motion Vocabulary Posters

Display this set of 22 mini-posters in your classroom when learning about force and motion vocabulary.

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A teaching presentation investigating the force of friction.

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