Physical Science Lesson Plans
Lesson plans for physics, chemistry, astronomy, aviation, and more!
Last updated on 4-29-2017!

Click on a topic in the index below to find the resources you need, or click on the linked text for lesson plans for life science and earth science as well as science homework help.

Collections of Physical Science Lessons, Atoms/Molecules, States of Matter, Gravity, Force and Motion, Light, Magnets, Electricity, Heat, Energy, Simple Machines, Astronomy, Aviation, Chemistry, Physics, Return to Science Index Page

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Collections of Physical Science Lessons
Physical Science Activities
An extensive alphabetical list of middle-grade physical science activities from the Physics Education at the University of Virginia.

Physical Science Activities
From the California Academy of Sciences.

Physical Science Lessons
Another large collection of lesson plans from Michigan Reach Out!

Physical Science
Two lesson plans from Education World

ProTeacher Physical Science
Elementary-grade lesson plans.

Physical Science Lesson Plans and Activities
From Share
My Lesson.

Physical Science Activities and Experiments

Atoms and Molecules
Atoms and Molecules
A lesson plan for grades 4-6.

Molecules in Motion
A middle school lesson plan.

Matter: Atoms and Molecules
A Teacher's Guide for grades 9-12 from Discovery Education.

Edible Atom
A lesson plan for grades 4-6 in which students to choose an element from the periodic table and design the atom complete with protons, neutrons, and electrons. See also Structure of the Atom for an excellent elementary-level resource.

Making Models: The Atom
An activity-based lesson plan for grades 4-6. For an excellent introduction to atoms, see All About Atoms.  

Molecules Matter
A middle-grade lesson plan.

The Periodic Table of Elements
A lesson plan for grades 6-12. See also Periodic Table Bingo.

Atomic Theory
An Internet-based lesson plan. See also Atomic Models and Spectra.

Matter/States of Matter
States of Matter: Making Ice Cream
A 1st-grade lesson plan.

States of Matter
A lesson plan from the SMILE Program Physics Index. See also States of Matter for an excellent resource.

A KWL elementary lesson  plan. See also States of Matter and The Three States of Matter.

Is Air Something?
A 3rd-grade unit. Scroll down the page to find the 14 lessons.

States of Matter: Solids, Liquids, and Gases
A K-3 lesson plan.  See also Gases Lighter and Heavier than Air

Density: Sink or Float for Liquids
A middle-grade lesson plan. See also Density: Sink or Float Solids and Sink or Float?

Comparing Densities of Different Liquids   
A lesson plan for grades 4-8

Gravitational Force
An Internet-based lesson plan.

Gravity Gets You Down
A lesson plan for grades 6-8 from Discovery Education. See also Force Counterforce.

Gravity: It's GREEEAAATTT!
Another middle-grade lesson plan. This one is from the National Teacher Training Institute.

Understanding Newton's Law of Gravity
One more middle-grade lesson plan.

Understanding Gravity
A lesson plan for grades 3-5. It
includes printable reading comprehension worksheets.

I'm Falling For You!
A 3rd-grade lesson plan in which students experience gravity just like Galileo did during his experiments.

What Goes Up Must Come Down
A 5th/6th-grade lesson plan in which students
observe the principles of gravity and extend their understanding of the concept.

Gravity Launch

An elementary-grade lesson plan exploring how the earth’s and moon’s gravity affects the path of a rocket launched into space.

Newton's Theory of Universal Gravitation
A high school lesson plan.

Force and Motion
Rules of Forces and Motion
A lesson plan for grades K-5 from Discovery Education.

Newton's Third Law Of Motion
A lesson plan for grades 4-6.

Forces in Action
A KS2 lesson plan from the BBC.

Motion and Forces
Web-interactive lessons for grades 5-8.

Forces and Motion
A lesson plan for grades 6-8 from the Discovery Education.

Motion in a Circle
A high school lesson plan on Newtonian mechanics and space flight.

Projectile Motion
A high school lesson plan.

A 9th-grade lesson plan. See also Force and Motion Theme Page.

Shadows and Light
Many lesson plans from A to Z Teacher Stuff.

A lesson plan for grades K-4 introducing concepts related to light.

Light - Reflection - Illusion
An elementary lesson plan on the law of reflection. See also Reflections Of for another elementary-grade lesson plan.

I "Light" What I See
A 3rd-grade unit. See also Seeing Is (Sometimes) Believing.

Reflections with Mirrors
A high school lesson plan. See also Plane Mirror Images.

How Light Moves

A lesson plan for the elementary grades.

Making Light of Science
A middle-grade lesson plan from Science NetLinks. See also The Lighter Side of Color and All Those Seeing Color Say Eye for other middle school lessons.

Magnetism - Making a Magnet
A 2nd-grade lesson plan. See also What Magnets Attract for another 2nd-grade lesson plan.

Magnets: Fields of  Force
A 2nd-grade unit. See also Marveling in Magnets.

Amazing Magnets!
Another 2nd-grade unit. This one uses experiments which explore magnetic force and compass use.

May the Force Be With You
Still another 2nd-grade unit on magnets and magnetism.

Magnetic Pick-ups
A lesson plan for grades 3-5 from Science NetLinks. See also Magnets 2: How Strong Is Your Magnet?

Science - 5th Grade
Many lesson plans about magnetism using magnets from the Utah Education Network.

Magnets and Compasses 101
A lesson plan for 8th-grade physics.

A lesson plan for high school students from Discovery Education. See also Magnetism Hands-On Activities.

Magnetic Fields and Bermuda Triangles
An activity for grades 8-12.

Using Electricity
An online lesson plan for the primary grades.

Brown Bag Science
A discovery-based elementary lesson plan on electrical circuits.

Introduction to Electricity
A 4th-grade lesson plan. See Electricity 101 for an excellent resource.

Static and Current Electricity
Several 5th-grade lesson plans. Click here for an excellent resource on static electricity.

Introducing Static Electricity
A lesson plan from Science NetLinks.

Electricity, Static, and Current
A lesson plan for grades 6-8 featuring a demonstration and group activities.

Teaching Some Basic Concepts of Electricity
A middle school unit complete with handouts

Electric and Magnetic Fields
A high school lesson plan.

Electricity  - Ohm's Law
A high school lesson plan.

Current Electricity -  AC/DC
A lesson plan for grades 5/6. See also AC/DC: What's the Difference?

Introduction to Elementary Circuits
An elementary lesson plan on basic circuits.     

Basic Electric Transformers
A high school lesson plan.

Understanding Electricity
A high school lesson plan from Discovery Education.

Risk Watch Electrical Safety Lesson Plans
Lesson plans for all grades 3-4.

Where Does Heat Come From
A 3rd-grade lesson plan. See also The Heat Is On for another 3rd-grade lesson plan.

Centigrade and Fahrenheit: What's the Difference?
A multi-level, cooperative learning lesson plan for fifth-grade science/math.

Heat Moves
A 6th-grade lesson plan. See also Heat vs. Temperature.

Passing The Heat Along
A lesson plan on heat conduction for grades 5-6.

Heat Transfer
An elaborate lesson plan from The TEAK Project.

Heat, Temperature, and Conduction
A middle school lesson plan.

An 8th-grade lesson plan.

Alliance to Save Energy
Many activity-based energy conservation lesson plans.

Two Basic Energy Principles
A lesson plan for grades 3-6 from the above source.

Another elementary lesson plan from the above site.

Introduction to Energy
A lesson plan for grades 3-5. See also What Is Potential Energy?

What Are the Forms of Energy?

A middle-grade lesson plan.

Energy Quest
Energy education site sponsored by the state of California.

Energy for You
A lesson plan for grades 6-8 from Science NetLinks.

We've Got the Power
A lesson plan for grades 6-8 in which students learn about different methods of power production.

A high school lesson plan in which students learn about the concept of energy, energy conservation, the units of energy, and the special nature of heat as the "soft currency" of the energy world. Click here for supplementary material for this lesson.

Renewable Energy Lesson Plans
Many lesson plans for all grade levels from the Texas State Energy Conservation Office.

Solar Energy
A lesson plan from the TEAK Project.

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Teacher's Lesson Plans
Instructional units and classroom activities on nuclear energy.

Energy And The City Person
An 8th-grade unit.

Energy: The U.S. In Crisis?
A high school lesson plan from Science NetLinks.

Alternative Fuels
A WebQuest. See also Energy in the U.S. WebQuest.

Simple Machines
Simple Machines: Bodies at Work
A movement-based lesson plan for grades 1-3.

Simple Machines Made Simple
A 2nd-grade unit. See also Unit 3: Simple Machines.

Simple Machines
A lesson plan for grades 3-4.

Engineering: Simple Machines
A lesson plan for grades 3-5 from Teach Engineering,

Simple Machines
A series of experiments for grades 3-5.

Systems 1: Simple Machines
A lesson plan for grades 3-5 from Science NetLinks. See also Systems 2: Up, Up, and Away!

The Official Rube Goldberg Website
Information, biography, gallery, and machine contest.

It's So Simple!
Lesson plan introducing simple machines.

Build one out of paper with your elementary class.

Gadget Anatomy
Scroll down the page for the lesson plan and "advanced activity."

Astronomy Lesson Plans and Resources
A terrific site with real-time maps of the night sky, an astronomy dictionary and astronomy news, plus wonderful information on the solar system, space exploration, and deep space.

Space Science Institute Resources for Educators
Many lesson plans and resources.

The Story Of The Solar System
One elementary lesson plan from Discovery Education.

Selected Topics in Astronomy and Space Studies
Thirteen middle grade and high school units from the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
Teacher resources including lesson plans from NASA.

Educator's Guide to Moon Phases
Good, concise information from Views of the Solar System. See their collection of lesson plans and activities.

Savage Sun
A lesson plan for grades 9-12 from Discovery Education. See also The Energy of the Sun.

Planetology Education Modules from Messenger Education      
A few lesson plans organized by grade level.

NASA Solar System Exploration
Use their Fast Lesson Finder to locate NASA approved lesson plans. See also Exploring the Planets.

Best of the Solar System
A lesson plan for grades 5-8.

The Discovery of the Solar System
A lesson plan from NASA in which students
learn about the heliocentric theory of Copernicus, the ideas behind it and the explanations which it displaced.  See also Take a Spin through the Solar System.

Mars for Educators
Classroom activities and resources from NASA.

Mars Education
STEM lesson plans from Arizona State University.

Destination Mars
A lesson plan for grades 6-8 from the Discovery Education.

Mission to Mars
Ideas for teaching about Mars from Education World.

Live From Earth and Mars: Educational Modules
Lesson plans, mostly on Mars but a few on weather, for a variety of grade levels.

Surviving and Thriving on Mars
Activities from NASA.

The Discovery of Jupiter Radio Waves
Lesson plans from NASA.

Is Pluto a Planet?
A lesson plan from Science Net Links. See also Ceres and Pluto and Pluto's Not a Planet.

The Impact of Shoemaker-Levy 9
A unit on the comet that smashed into the planet Jupiter.

The Educator's Guide to the NEAR Project
Information and lesson plans form the NEAR (Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous) Project.

SETI Life in the Universe (LITU) Curriculum
Sample lesson plans on the possible existence of extraterrestrial life. 

Exploring Stars
An elementary lesson plan from Discovery Education. See also
Star Light, Star Bright; Lesson Plan G2 The Stars; and Constellations.

Satellite Lesson Plans
Seven lesson plans from Boston University.

Creating Craters
Classroom activities from NASA.

Space Adventure WebQuest
For another astronomy WebQuest, see The Ultimate Solar System Catalog.

Windows to the Universe
A graphics-intensive space science website with tons of information and a teacher/student workbook.

Welcome to the Planets
Great source for pictures of and information about the planets.

Challenger Center
More space stuff.

Aviation/Aeronautics (Scroll  past the lesson plans for sites with aviation information, pictures, and history)
Mn DOT Aviation Education
Aviation education classroom presentations and curricula.

The K-8 Aeronautics Internet Textbook
Download a copy in pdf format from NASA.

How Things Fly: Activities for Teaching Flight
Three lesson plans from the Smithsonian Institute.

Principles of Flight
Five experiments from the
ALLSTAR Teacher Resource Guide.
See the other levels at the top of the page.

The History of Flight and Some Mathematical Application
A high school unit primarily designed for math, but parts of it also seem appropriate for science.

A teacher's guide from NASA.

Ellen Ochoa
A unit for grades 4-5 on this first Hispanic woman ever to be accepted into the NASA space shuttle program.

Build one out of paper with your elementary class.

Paper Airplanes and More
Everything you wanted to know about paper airplanes.

Build the Best Paper Airplane in the World
You be the judge, but that's what the site is called!

Beginner's Guide to Aeronautics
An excellent site with information on how airplanes fly, why wings change shape on takeoff and landing, and propulsion systems.

See How It Flies
A complete and understandable online aeronautics text!   

How Airplanes Work
An excellent, well illustrated article from How Stuff Works. It not only answers the basic question of how airplanes fly, but also describes the function of wings and the other parts of an airplane.

How Does a Jet Engine Work?
The basics on jet propulsion from NASA's Ultra Efficeint Engine Technologyn Kid's Site. See their lesson plans.

Looking for Wright Brothers Lessons?

Five lessons for teaching about the Wright brothers from Education World.

Stories of the Wright's Flights
A lesson plan from Smithsonian Education. See also Wright Brothers National Memorial: Site of First Controlled Flight.

Values and Attitudes  
A lesson plan for grades 3-5 in which students learn that the Wright brothers were only able progress when they ignored accepted beliefs about flight and began to test the theories for themselves. See also Wright Brothers Project 2.  

Charles Lindbergh began his transatlantic flight in 1927
A classroom activity from Read-Write-Think. See also
Charles Lindbergh - Aviation Pioneer Lesson Plan.

Timeline of Flight

National Air and Space Museum
From the Smithsonian Institution.

Aviation Museums
An alphabetical list of links to aviation museums.
Almost 3-million photos!   

Chemistry Lesson Plans and Resources

Middle School Chemistry
Many lesson plans organized by chapter from the American Chemical Society. See their
High School Chemistry Education Resources.

SMILE Program Chemistry Lesson Plans
Nearly 200 lesson plans!

The Science Spot Chemistry Lesson Plans   
Many junior high school lesson plans.

Chemistry Lesson Plan Menu
Many lesson plans from Columbia University's Science Teacher Summer Research Program.

Classroom Resources
Search for lesson plans and resources from the American Association of Chemistry Teachers.

Chemistry Inquiry
Five free sample lesson plans from the Constructing Chemistry Curriculum.

National Historic Landmarks in Chemistry
Chemistry history esson plans from the American Chemical Society. See their other Chemistry Education Resources.

Chemistry in the Kitchen
An elementary-grade lesson plan.

The Flavor of Organic Chemistry
A three-part unit introducing students to organic chemistry through the study of flavor.

Periodicity (The Periodic Table).
A high school lesson plan. See also Introduction to the Periodic Table of Elements, The Periodic Table: Atoms, Elements, and Isotopes, and Periodic Table Bingo.

Supernova Chemistry Lesson Plan
A high school lesson plan from NASA in which students observe visible spectra of known elements and identify an unknown element or combination of elements by visible spectra.

Acids and Bases
A high school lesson plan. See also Acid-Base Chemistry Teacher Page and Determining Acids and Bases.

Corals and Chemistry
A Lesson plan from the EPA.   

The Chemistry of Fireworks
A WebQuest. See also The Chemistry behind Cooking WebQuest.   

Chemistry Homework Help
Find resources for a variety of chemistry topics or ask a specific question.

I'm not sure if all this stuff is chemistry-related, but this site offers everything you need to teach and learn about bubbles

Physics Lesson Plans and Resources
A searchable data base of physics resources!

Physics Lesson Plans
Several lesson plans from The Science Spot.

SMILE Program Physics Index
A long list of lessons divided into the following categories: Matter, Mechanics, Fluids, Electricity & Magnetism, Waves, Sound and Optics, and Miscellaneous.

Physics and Astronomy Lesson plans
A long list organized by topic from Rutgers University. See also Links to Physics and Astronomy Lesson Plans.

High School Physics Lessons
Another long list of high school physics lesson plans.

Engineering-based lesson plans and activities for all grade levels. Take a look at their home page for more resources.

The Engineering Place
Elementary and middle school lesson plans.

STEM Resources Collection

From PBS.

Instructional Materials in Physics
A collection of "Theme Pages" which focus on specific topics within physics.

Web Physics
A network of resources for introductory physics teaching.

The Physics Classroom
High school physics lessons and resources.

Physics Lesson Plan Menu
Lesson plans developed at the Columbia University Summer Research Program for Science Teachers.

Physics Inquiry Lesson Plans
Three sample lessons as well as skill practice.

STEM for the Classroom
Several lesson plans from the U.S. Navy.

Physics Classroom Resources
From the National Science Foundation.

Elements of Physics: Energy and Work
A high school lesson plan from Discovery Education. See also
Elements Of Physics: Motion, Force & Gravity and Elements of Physics: Matter, for other lesson plans fro Discovery Education.

AP Physics 1 Course Home Page
From AP Central. See also AP Physics 1: Algebra Based -  Course Planning and Pacing Guide.

Amusement Park Physics
Information and an online activity exploring the physics of amusement park rides! See also Roller Coaster Project Page.

Physics Homework Help
Find help with a variety of physics topics or ask a specific question.


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