Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Nature of Game Balls

MAdele Carson
Santa Rosa District Schools


Students will investigate how mass and size will affect the motion of balls when dropped from the same height.


The student uses a variety of measurements to compare and contrast the physical properties of matter.

The student uses metric tools to measure, record, and interpret data.


-Assortment of balls (1 of each per group):Table tennis balls, tennis balls, golf balls, kickballs, soccer balls, basketballs, baseballs, softballs, super balls, jacks balls, and marbles.
-Metric measuring tape
-Gram weights and balances


1. Obtain a variety of balls so that each group will have the same assortment.
2. Obtain a metric measuring tape, meter sticks, and weights and balances.
3. Have measuring tapes attached vertically to wall.
4. Divide students into groups.
5. Have materials ready for each group (measuring tools, balls).


1. The teacher will begin the lesson discussing the differences in balls used in different sports. The students will discuss the differences in the sizes and weights of the balls.
2. The teacher will demonstrate how to measure the circumferences of the balls with the metric tapes and how to measure the weights with the balances. In addition, the teacher will show how to measure the bounce (with a tape measure or yard stick taped vertically to the wall).
3. The teacher will demonstrate how to drop each ball from the same height in order to make the comparisons.
4. Students will measure the balls with metric tapes for size and circumference and balances for weight.
5. The students will record their findings and make conclusions about the weight, height, and bounce of the different balls.


Students will keep a record of the balls, their weight, circumference, and height of bounce. In addition, they will reach a conclusion of how weight affects the bounce.


Using the Jungle Gym Physics, drop other materials to see if weight affects the rate they reach bottom.

Web Links

Web supplement for Nature of Game Balls
Jungle Gym Physics

Attached Files

A chart for measuring of balls.     File Extension: pdf

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