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Rugby forces

  • Teaching Idea
  • Key Stage 3

Type: Teaching Idea
Learning Strategy: Planning
Topic: Forces

This activity brings the excitement of the World Cup into the classroom. Students look at pictures of scrums, tackles, line outs and so on, and decide where the forces are acting. They then colour in players and arrows to illustrate the forces' directions and magnitudes. This activity is particularly appropriate for lower ability year 7 students.

Published: 21st September 2007
Reviews & Comments: 0

Learning objectives

Students will:
• Identify the directions of forces in balanced and unbalanced force pairs

Try the idea

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11-14 (KS3) Forces and their effects (QCA module 7K)
• Recognise that forces have both magnitude and direction
• Describe situations in which forces are balanced and unbalanced
• Described how unbalanced forces affect the direction and speed of a moving object

Running the activity

Display page 1 to introduce the activity. You might like to show a few minutes of World Cup action, too.

If running the activity as a short starter, give each pair of students one picture cut from page 2. Tell them to decide who or what is doing the pushing or pulling in their picture, and to colour in that part of the picture. They then colour the appropriate arrow in the same colour. Share findings through class discussion or by creating a display.

If running this as a main activity, give each student or pair a copy of page 2. Tell students to discuss and colour in all 6 pictures, as described in the instructions at the top of the page. Then get students to cut up page 2 and categorise the pictures: those with balanced forces and those with unbalanced forces.

In discussion, you might like to ask students whether anyone is getting squashed, speeding up or slowing down, or changing direction in each picture. This activity is also a good opportunity to challenge a common misconception by emphasizing that forces is associated with a change in motion rather than simply motion or the direction of motion.

If you violently disagree with the direction of any of the arrows on page 2, please write a comment for this activity on the web site, and we'll amend in the light of a general consensus…both forces and rugby excite great controversy!

News links

BBC sport
Photos and reports of the rugby world cup
Good selection of rugby photos

Reviews & Comments

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