Anchoring Phenomenon

Objects do not move on their own.

Lesson Concept

Plan and conduct an investigation to observe the cause and effect of objects moving and colliding.

Identified Problem

More goals are made in soccer with a plan.


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

Time | Materials | Advance Preparation


130 minutes

Part I40 minutes
10 minutesEngage I
30 minutesExplore I
Part II30 minutes
30 minutesExplore II
Part III30 minutes
30 minutesExplain II
Part IV30 minutes
30 minutesElaborate/Evaluate


Whole Class

Group (Groups of 2)

  • Ruler for a ramp
  • 2 blocks to elevate the ruler
  • 1 golf ball or rubber ball
  • Half of a plastic cup
  • 3 sheets of 12” by 18” construction paper
  • Heavy wooden block (approx. 3” by 6”) or a thick textbook
  • 3 bear counters (or any figure that looks like a player)
  • Masking tape
  • Crayons


Teacher Use

Advance Preparation

  1. Prepare the Soccer Game Board for every two students following the Soccer Field diagram on K.6.R1: Soccer Game Board Set-up.
    • Cut a medium or large plastic cup vertically to make two half cups. Tape the opening down centered at the end of the construction paper to form a cave-like opening to serve as the goal.
    • Draw a line on the opposite end of the paper to show where students will place the opening of their ramp.
    • Instead of the pictures of the bears, tape down three bear counters in a line spaced half an inch apart. The line of bears should be about 5 inches in front of the goal.
  2. Place ramp materials in a bin so that students can construct a ramp. Include the ball in the bin.
  3. Preview FC Barcelona video. Cue the video to a section where you see collisions and then a goal. Showing only 1 to 2 minutes of the video.
  4. Make a copy of K.6.H1: Soccer Field for each student.
  5. Prepare the K.6.C1: Class Notebook for this lesson as described in the Toolbox for this lesson. Make sure you create 2 notebook pages, one that represents the Soccer Game Board and one called the Soccer Field. Use the K.6.R1: Soccer Game Board Set-up as a model.

    When setting up soccer fields, glue or tape bears in position and tape the goal in place. Students can use different items to represent their teammates (baskets, books, blocks, etc.), and the ramp can be set at different heights.

Part I

Engage I (10 minutes)

Make observations about patterns seen when an object is put in motion.

  1. Display the chart of brainstormed questions recorded under: “Questions” started during Lesson 1: Exploration Box in the K.6.C1: Class Notebook. Ask students to choral read with you all the questions about how to score a goal in soccer. After each question, invite students to share answers to the question and build on their ideas if needed.
  2. Show the FC Barcelona video and ask students to look for how these students moved the ball past the opposing players to make a goal.
  3. After viewing the video, ask students to think-pair-share knee-to-knee to answer the question, “How did the players get the ball down the field, past the defenders, and into the goal?”
    1. Share partner ideas with the group.
    2. Discuss with the whole group, “What are some of the patterns you noticed?”

    Listen for academic words used to describe the movement when the ball collides with another player, e.g. push, collide, and push off. Expand student explanations by making statements such as “Yes, it hit another player’s head, or we could say it collided with the player’s head.” This supports both California ELD and CCSS in ELA.

Explore I (30 minutes)

Plan and conduct investigations observing patterns that occur when objects touch or collide.

    Image via Vista Unified School District
    [Used with Permission]
  1. Ask students to talk about how to get the ball around other players to players on their team when they play soccer. Ask students if they have planned where to move the ball or if their coach had a plan to help them move the ball.
  2. Show students the Soccer Game Board which you drew on the K.6.C1: Class Notebook. Discuss how the diagram is like the way a large soccer field might look. Listen to what students think the model of the soccer game represents.
  3. Emphasize that the bears are the opposing team in this Soccer Game Board. The wall represents players from your own team. Have students think about how to get the ball to collide with the wall of players from your team to get around the bears and make a goal.

    Engineering includes objects, tools, and processes. In this lesson, students develop strategies (i.e., processes) to score goals.

  5. Distribute the prepared Soccer Game Board, the ball, the ramp, the block, the 3 bears, and the wall. Have students put the goal and the opposing players into position. Then each student works with a partner to draw a plan on the Soccer Game Board.
    1. Think about where to start the motionless soccer ball using the same kind of ramp used in mini-wall ball with two blocks under the ramp.
    2. Plans should include the pathway to the goal and the collision with the wall (which represent the students’ teammates) to get the ball around the bears and into the goal.
    3. Ask partners to return to the meeting place with their plans on the construction paper.
  6. Display all student plans side-by-side on a ledge and ask partners to explain their plan. Ask students to identify what is the same about the plans and what is different. Have students observe and describe the patterns they see in the plans.
  7. If students saw an idea in someone else’s plan that they liked, they can revise their plan.

Part II

Explore II (30 minutes)

Design an solution using patterns of push and pull collisions to move a soccer ball to the goal.

  1. Ask partners to test their plans. After the materials are set up, tell students you must approve the set-up and give the go-ahead to test. Circulate around the room. Remind students to record the path of the ball on the field (the construction paper) using different colored crayons. Partners then discuss what worked and what they would like to try for the next set-up.
  2. Image via Emerson/Bandini Elementary,
    San Diego Unified School District
    [Used with Permission]
    Image via Lakeside USD
    [Used with Permission]
  3. After the initial trial, have partners adjust their models by changing the position of the wall, or the starting point for the ball. After testing, record the pathway using a different-colored crayon. Continue testing until the pathway to the goal is consistent from the starting point, and the ball does not come in contact with the opposing team (the 3 bears).
  4. Ask each person to draw a diagram of their final test solution in their kindergarten science notebook or on a sheet of paper. This solution might be quite different than the original plan.
  5. Return to the meeting area to discuss the results. Ask partners to explain what they did to get the ball in the goal. How did they figure it out? Have other students ask clarifying questions using the sentence frame: Why did you change _____ to score?
  6. Select one or more books from the Literacy Links for a read aloud. Use How Things Move if available. Any of the titles can be used to solidify the language of how things move. Discuss main ideas with the class or have the students act out the movements in the book.

Part III

Explain II (30 minutes)

Communicate ideas about the cause and effect of an object in motion colliding with another object.

    Image via Lakeside USD [Used with Permission]
  1. Ask partner groups to share their plan and the pathways tried. Each partner group takes turns explaining how they adjusted their set-up multiple times to position the teammates and to determine the start position.

    Set up the Soccer Game Board in the student choice center for students that need practice seeing the pattern caused by changing the angle of the ramp or the placement of the wall. More proficient students can use word cards placed in the center that label defenders, the wall, arrows to indicate a change in direction. The word cards should be available to every student.

Part IV

Elaborate/Evaluate (30 minutes)

Analyze data and observe patterns of objects colliding to plan a solution to move a soccer ball to make a goal.


    Before this Elaborate/Evaluate, take two of the student plans and make a diagram on chart paper like the one provided on K.6.R1: Soccer Game Board Set-up. Have three sticky notes available on the chart. Sticky notes will stand for players from their team. Students will decide where to place the sticky notes.

  1. Display a diagram of the soccer field in the K.6.C1: Class Notebook and explain that a soccer coach has asked us to do a drill to prepare to make a goal outside on a real soccer field.
  2. Notice where the defender bears are on the field. Tell them the coach has already placed one sticky note where he/she wants one teammate to stand. Ask two other students to each place one sticky note where two other teammates should stand to have the best chance of getting the ball from a kicker and directing it into the goal.
  3. Take the diagram and the students outside. Set up two cones to make a goal and ask three students to stand in a line just like the bears and three students to stand in the place of the sticky notes on your diagram. Ask three additional students to take turns kicking the ball to one of the teammates to see if it will go in the goal. Keep practicing the drill until all students in the class have a chance to play at least two roles.
  4. Return to the room and lead a discussion about how the motionless object (a soccer ball) was put into motion with a push (kick), collided with a player, changed direction, and made a goal. Note that the ball eventually stopped moving.
  5. Display the page of the Class Notebook with the brainstormed list of games played by students and their families from Lesson 1: Exploration Box. Use choral reading to review the list. Ask partners to discuss knee-to-knee (student-to-student discourse) to identify which games use pushes, pulls, or collisions. Share and record responses using symbols for push, pull, and collision for each game.
  6. Distribute K.6.H1: Soccer Field. Distribute three sticky notes to each student and ask them to place the sticky notes in the best place for teammates to be able to get a ball from the kicker and kick it into the goal. Ask students to include the pathway of the ball and the three sticky notes and mark where the ball starts its movement, collides and changes direction, and makes a pathway to the goal and stops in the goal.

    Use K.6.R2: Evaluation Rubric For the Summative Sticky Note Plans to evaluate the student work on the K.6.H1: Soccer Field handout.

Literacy Links

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



Boothroyd, J. (2010). Give It a Push! Give It a Pull! New York, NY: Lerner Digital.

Bradley, K. B., & Meisel, P. (2010). Forces Make Things Move. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Curry, D. L. (2001). How Things Move. Mankato, MN: Yellow Umbrella Books.

Endres, H. J. (2004). Push and Pull. Bloomington, MN: Yellow Umbrella Books.

FC Barcelona. (2016, December 29). Search Avatar image 0:17 / 2:35 [HIGHLIGHTS] LALIGA PROMISES: FC Barcelona (Infantil B) – Real Madrid 2–0. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvbIAaEgKjc

Guillain, C. (2012). Push and Pull. London: Raintree.

Murphy, P. J. (2002). Push and Pull. New York, NY: Children’s Press.

Nelson, R. (2004). Push and Pull. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications.

Schaefer, L. M. (2000). Push and Pull. Mankato, MN: Pebble Books.

Stille, D. R., & Boyd, S. (2004). Motion: Push and Pull, Fast and Slow. Minneapolis, MN: Picture Window Books.


Download K.6.C1

Download K.6.H1

Download K.6.R1

Download K.6.R2