Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Marbles in Motion

MAdele Carson
Santa Rosa District Schools


Students will learn how to play different games of marbles while learning the scientific concepts of force, motion, mass, acceleration, friction, and inertia.


The student knows that velocity describes a change in distance over time.

The student uses tools to measure changes in position, direction, and speed of an object after a push or pull has been applied.

The student knows the relationship between the strength of a force and its effect on an object (for example, the greater the force, the greater the change in motion; the more massive the object, the smaller the effect of a given force).

The student understands how inertia, gravity, friction, mass, and force affect motion.


-Marbles (a free set available from Web site listed below)
-Yarn to make circle
-Chalk if playing outside


1. Check out the marbles' Web sites in order to familiarize yourself with the games that can be played with marbles.
2. Obtain marbles from Web site, toy store, or dollar store.
3. Download Marbles: A New Old Game from Web page to be able to read to class.
4. Have lengths of yarn or chalk ready for circles.


1. Read Marbles: A New Old Game to class. (See Web address below.)

2. Explain how marbles are played by using a diagram found at that site.

3. Using the marbles, review the concepts of force and motion. What makes the marble move? Why does it stop? Why does a marble move when it is hit?

4. Divide students into groups. Pass out marbles and yarn to make circles (or chalk if outside) to groups.

5. While students are playing, walk around to make sure everyone is understanding the game. Students should explain to their group members the concepts of inertia, friction, momentum, acceleration, and motion with the marbles in written format.

6. When students have tried different games and have explained the concepts of force and motion, have them make up their own marble games.


1. Students will learn to play the games taught.
2. Students will be able to explain, to their group members, the scientific concepts exhibited in playing marbles.
3. Students will write the directions to playing a marble game by using scientific terms of force, motion, acceleration, etc. For example: The marble will keep moving until it is acted upon by another force (another marble).


Here is an M&M Marbles site, playing marble-type game with candies:

Directions: Four other games come with the marjoe37 marbles. One of the games uses multiples of 10s to keep score.

Web Links

For free marbles (non-profit groups) and lots of other marbles information.
Marjoe Marbles

Web supplement for Marbles in Motion
Marbles: A New Old Game

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