Lesson Plan

Friction Lab

Students are introduced to different kinds of frictions and in the end, be able to demonstrate understanding of the different kinds of frictions.

Students will be able to define and demonstrate different kinds of frictions. Students will be able to use a force gauge. Students will be able to explain how friction can be helpful and is utilized.


ISTE 5b Collect data or identify relevant data sets, use digital tools to analyze them, and represent data in various ways to facilitate problem-solving and decision-making.

NGSS *The lab builds toward an understanding of Newton's second law of motion

Grades 9 - 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Engage

Activity: Debating

Ask the question: What would happen when a car suddenly brakes on an icy road? On a normal road?

2 Explore

Activity: Other — use of Force gauge

Give students books, string, and a force gauge and ask students to figure out the easiest way to move the books across the table. Also give them material on which they can pull the books on. i.e. cloth, colored pencils, sandpaper. Have them find out which takes the smallest amount of force and which one takes the largest amount of force.

3 Explain

Activity: Presenting

Tell the students about different types of friction. Define static and kinetic friction. Define sliding and rolling friction. Have a book on each table of students. Have them demonstrate each friction..


        Static – book not moving

        Kinetic – book moving

          Sliding – dragging book on table

          Rolling – dragging book on top of colored pencils

4 Elaborate

Activity: Other — Force gauge and scale

Explain how to measure friction with the force gauge. Give each group a force gauge and 3 text books. Students are write down each measurement in an excel sheet. Template provided below.

Student Instructions
    Static Sliding Rolling
1 book Trial 1      
Weight Trial 2      
  Trial 3      
2 book Trial 1      
Weight Trial 2      
  Trial 3      
3 book Trial 1      
Weight Trial 2      
  Trial 3      


5 Evaluate

Remind students to input the data into an excel spreadsheet and make graphs of the data. Template provided above. Show students how to create graphs in excel.

  1. Input data and then go to insert
  2. Choose the type of chart/graph to create
Student Instructions

Students are to interpret the data using graphs and explain any patterns they see. Explain how the data can be utilized for practical uses.