Anchoring Phenomenon

Objects do not move on their own.

Lesson Concept

Design a solution to a problem using structures that cause movement by pulling or pushing the object.

Identified Problem

Soccer equipment cannot move to the field on its own.


Click here for NGSS, CCSS-ELA, and California ELD standards.

Time | Materials | Advance Preparation


30 minutes

10 minutesEngage
10 minutesExplore
5 minutesExplain
5 minutesElaborate/Evaluate


Whole Class


  • Kindergarten science notebook
  • pencil
  • crayons

Advance Preparation

  1. Place soccer objects in the center of the rug area to set the stage for the problem.
  2. Prepare the continuation of the Class Notebook started in Lesson 1: Exploration Box. Review K.2.C1: Class Notebook that is described in the Toolbox for this lesson. Consider making the Criteria and Constraints page before the lesson.
  3. Open the K.1.C1 Class Notebook to the page with questions about how to move the objects to the field started in Lesson 1: Exploration Box.

Engage (10 minutes)

Identify the problem of needing a structure to move soccer equipment to the field.

  1. Display the soccer materials on the meeting place carpet and display the charted questions recorded on the K.2.C1: Class Notebook (from Lesson 1: Exploration Box where the problem was introduced). Continue the discussion of the question “What do we need to know to solve the coach’s problem?” Chart any new responses or questions directly on the notebook.
  2. Tell the students one of the parents has some things in their car that might help the coach. Take the students to a car to see the materials placed in the trunk for carrying materials or show K.2.R1: Trunk of Car. Discuss the things they see in the car: boxes, a wagon, rope, plastic garbage bags, a big duffle bag and a large board. Discuss how they might use the different objects to move the soccer equipment.
  3. Introduce K.2.C1: Class Notebook page called Criteria and Constraints.

    Criteria 1: Equipment must be moved in one trip.

    Criteria 2: One person must move all the materials.

    Constraints: Use materials in the trunk of the parent’s car.

  4. Ask students to discuss knee-to-knee (student-to-student discourse) this question with a partner: “What could be done to get these objects moved in one trip by one person?” Share ideas using the sentence frame:
    My partner says _____.
    Listen to several students share ideas from their partners.
    Chart student ideas.

    Some students might suggest driving the car onto the field. Tell them this could not be done as there were buildings in the way, and we can’t drive on the grass. Listen to sufficient ideas to help all students realize there is more than one way to move the materials to the field.

Explore (10 minutes)

Use patterns of movement to design a solution for transporting soccer equipment to the soccer field.

  1. Tell students “Some of your ideas were to pull the equipment, and some of your ideas were to push the equipment. What direction does the pull move? How is that direction different from a push?” After a short discussion, turn to a page of K.2.C1: Class Notebook and tell students, “Let’s try to show what a push is and what a pull is with words and pictures.” Ask students for suggestions for words, symbols, and pictures to show movement.
  2. Ask partners to design a way for the coach to move the materials to the field and make a poster by drawing their plan on a sheet of construction paper. Remind students that the move must be done in one trip with the materials from the parent’s car.
    1. Be sure and include arrows to show the direction you are moving the equipment.
    2. Use the words push or pull to show how you are using a force to move the equipment.
  3. Image via Vista Unified School District [Used with Permission]
    These students are working in their science notebook
    instead of construction paper.

Explain (5 minutes)

Communicate a solution to the problem of moving equipment to the field identifying the structure to push or pull.

  1. Have students return to the meeting place with their plans. Ask partners to share their plans for moving the equipment to the field. Remind students to include whether they are pushing or pulling the equipment. Record each partner’s solutions on the K.2.C1: Class Notebook under A Plan to Move the Equipment.
  2. Examples of Student Work

    Images via WestEd (taken during field test)
  3. Using the recorded solutions, ask students which ideas are a push and which ideas are a pull. Have individual students take turns circling all the pushes in one color and circling all the pulls with another color.
  4. Display the Criteria and Constraints page in the K.2.C1: Class Notebook with the recorded solutions. Ask partners to talk about which ideas meet the criteria and constraints.

Elaborate/Evaluate (5 minutes)

Compare pictures (solutions) to determine the easiest structure to push or pull the equipment to the field.

  1. Ask students to review the list of different solutions they planned to move the equipment to the soccer field. Ask partners to pick the solution that they think will work the best, place a small sticky note on the plan, and explain why they think it will push or pull the equipment. Compare the numbers of sticky notes by each plan,. Ask students to order the plans from the most selected to the least selected. Lead a discussion that includes the reasons for the selections.

    Listen for the use of push and pull as well as logical cause and effect statements. If students do not use the academic language in the descriptions, continue the choice centers with the cards started in Lesson 1: Exploration Box.

  3. Discuss the difference between a push and a pull. Read a selection from the Literacy Links listed below; for example, And Everyone Shouted “Pull!”
  4. Ask students to think about the soccer game. “We know how to move equipment to the field and push or pull the motionless ball to play the game.” Brainstorm and chart what else you need to figure out to move the motionless soccer ball to score goals. Record student questions in the K.2.C1: Class Notebook under the heading; “What else do we need to figure out?” Questions might include: How strong do we need to push? How do we stop the ball? How do we change the direction of the ball? Does weather ever make the ball move or stop moving?

Literacy Links

It would be appropriate to have students interact with text to extend their understanding of pulls. These selections can be read aloud at any time after this lesson because students have experienced pushes and pulls. Suggested books include:




Brett, J. (2015). The Turnip. New York: Putnam Juvenile.

Casas, D. D., & Gentry, M. (2010). The Gigantic Sweet Potato. Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing Company.

Davis, A., & Petričić, D. (2018). The Enormous Potato. Winnipeg, MB: National Network for Equitable Library Service.

Hester, D. L., & Urbanovic, J. (2015). Grandma Lena’s Big Ol’ Turnip. New York, NY: Albert Whitman Prairie Books.

Llewellyn, C., & Abel, S. (2005). And Everyone Shouted, “Pull!”: A first look at forces and motion. Minneapolis, MN: Picture Window Books.

Peck, J., & Root, B. (1998). The Giant Carrot. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers.

Stihler, C. B., & Trammell, J. (2003). The Giant Cabbage: An Alaska folktale. Seattle, WA: Sasquatch Books.

Tolstoy, A. N., & Sharkey, N. (2019). The Gigantic Turnip. Cambridge, MA: Barefoot Books.


Download K.2.C1

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