Loading…
Loading Mystery…

Open-and-go lessons that inspire kids to love science.

Sign up now for tons of free lessons like this one!

Force Olympics    Read-Along Mystery 4

Kforceolympicsmystery4thumbnail

In this Read-Along Mystery, Daniel worries he won’t do well at a friend’s Bumper Bowling party…until he figures out an unexpected way to win.

Beginning Exploration (1 of 2)
Enter full screen whiteFull Screen
Exit full screen whiteExit Full Screen

This is Daniel.

He’s not feeling very happy.

“What’s wrong?” asked Mom.

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

“Mateo is having a bumper bowling party next week,” said Daniel. “I don’t want to go.”

“Why not?” asked Mom.

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

Daniel frowned. “I never knock down any pins,” he said.

“My ball always gets stuck in the middle!”

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

“Don’t give up,” said Mom. “Let’s go and practice.”

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

That night, Mom and Dad took Daniel bowling.

They found a lane with bumpers that would keep the ball from falling into the gutters on the sides.

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

“This is neat!” said Dad. “If the ball heads for the gutter, it bounces off the bumper!

“Want to give it a try?”

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

Daniel chose a bowling ball and set it down on the line.

He stood with the ball between his feet. Then he bent down and gave it a careful push.

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

The ball rolled down, down, down the lane.

It got slower and slower and slower.

Then it stopped. Right in the middle of the lane.

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

“Aargh!” cried Daniel. “See what I mean?”

“It’s okay,” Mom said. “The manager will get it.”

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

As Daniel waited for the manager to bring back his ball, he thought about what might be going wrong.

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

“Maybe I’m using an old, slow ball,” Daniel thought.

“Or maybe there’s a bump in my lane. Or maybe I’m not pushing the ball hard enough.”

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen
stop & talk

Stop & Talk

Why do you think the ball didn’t go all the way down the lane?

What do you think Daniel could do to make it go farther?

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

“The ball didn’t go far enough,” Dad said. “How could you make it go farther?”

“I guess I could push harder,” Daniel replied.

“Try it and see!”

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

Daniel picked up his ball and tried again.

This time he pushed a lot harder.

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

He watched his ball roll down the lane.

It started in the middle, but then went to the side and rolled along the edge of the bumper.

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

Plink!

The ball knocked down one pin.

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

“Oh!” cried Daniel.

“I only hit one pin. If I want to win, I need to knock down lots of pins.”

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

“You’re doing great!” Mom said.

“The ball went all the way down the lane, right? Think about what you did to make that happen.”

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

Daniel stopped and thought.

“I pushed the ball harder. It went faster and farther,” he said.

“But I still only hit one pin!”

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen
get up & move

Get Up & Move!

Let’s go bowling!
Bend down and push that ball down the lane.
You got a strike! Jump up and down to show everyone how happy you are.

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

Daniel wasn’t ready to give up.

“I want to hit those pins right in the middle,” he thought.

“I need to try something new.”

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

Daniel did everything he could think of to make the ball roll down the middle.

He tried bowling from one side, and then the other.

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

He tried bowling with his eyes open and with his eyes closed.

But the ball always ended up rolling down the side.

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

Daniel sat down with his parents. “I don’t know what else to try,” he said.

“You’re good at other sports,” Dad replied. “Do they give you any ideas?"

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

“I play basketball,” Daniel said.

“Sometimes you have to bounce the ball off the backboard to get it into the net.”

Enter full screen whiteFull Screen
Exit full screen whiteExit Full Screen

“I like soccer, too. People bounce the ball all around before making a goal.”

Enter full screen whiteFull Screen
Exit full screen whiteExit Full Screen
stop & talk

Stop & Talk

What happens when a ball bounces off something?
Does it keep going the same way, or does it go someplace new?
What other games use balls that get bounced around?

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

“Hey,” Daniel cried. “That gives me an idea!”

He jumped up, grabbed his ball, and headed out to try one more time.

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

Daniel took a deep breath, set down his ball, and gave it a really hard push—straight toward the bumper!

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

He watched as the ball bounced off the bumper on one side, then bounced off the bumper on the other side, and then bounced back toward the pins.

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

CRASH! It was a strike!

Daniel’s ball knocked down all the pins.

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

“Wow!” said Mom. “How did you think of that?”

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

Daniel laughed. “I thought about the other games I play,” he said.

“When balls hit things, they go off in different directions.”

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

On the way home that night, Daniel and his parents got ice cream to celebrate.

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

Before he went to bed, Daniel wrote a reply to Mateo’s birthday invitation.

He couldn’t wait to go!

THE END

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen
Beginning Optional Activity: Crash-Cup Bowling

Optional Activity: Crash-Cup Bowling

All you need to make a bowling alley in your classroom are some plastic cups (Solo cups work great) and a tennis ball. Mark a lane with masking tape, and set pool noodles along rows of building blocks if you want to add bumpers. Then make a pile of upside-down cups (for pins) and get things rolling! This activity gives students a way to explore the forces at work when one thing hits another.

See the next slide for ideas on how to use bowling in math practice, sight-word recognition, and physical skill building.

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen

Activity Prep

For the Read-Along Mystery, you don’t need any materials.

As an optional activity, we suggest making a classroom bowling alley with plastic cups (Solo cups work great) and a tennis ball. Mark a lane with masking tape, and set pool noodles along rows of building blocks if you want to add bumpers. We also provide links to ideas on ways to use bowling to reinforce math and ELA concepts.

Beginning Exploration (2 of 2)

Optional Activity: Crash-Cup Bowling

  • For more ideas—including ways to add math practice and sight words—go to the activity here and scroll down to #3).

  • If you want to focus more on numbers, look here.

  • If you’re interested in more in-depth, skill-building workshops, these activities can help students learn while playing. Included are a variety of teacher resources, from safety tips and assessment opportunities to notes on group dynamics.

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen
Beginning Complete!

You've completed the Read-Along & Optional Activity!

Enter full screen blackFull Screen
Exit full screen blackExit Full Screen
Next