• Play (Non-Musical): "Forces & Motion: The Three Laws of Isaac Newton" - FORC-SC
  • "Forces & Motion" Play
  • "Forces & Motion" Play
  • "Forces & Motion" Play
  • "Forces & Motion" Site License
  • "Forces & Motion" Site License
New!
    • 30-minute play (NON-musical) for grades 3-8
    • Includes the script and teacher's guide
    • Simple to do - no drama experience needed!

    King Isaac Newton is fed up! His lazy children, the three Laws of Motion, just want to lounge by the pool. Encouraged by Quark, his (evil) advisor, Newton sends the Laws on a quest to learn about themselves. Will the Laws learn about the Forces that govern the universe and unlock the mysteries of motion? Or will Quark capture and feed them to his dog, Black Hole?

    This clever physics show incorporates several physical demonstrations, helping students understand the material more concretely. It's a great teaching tool for tricky material!

    Please scroll down to read the script, read reviews, and get all the details about the play (curriculum/content, educational standards, and vocabulary).

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    Key Concepts

    Forces & Motion: The Three Laws of Isaac Newton refers to, and reinforces students' familiarity with:

    • The Forces that control the movement of objects on earth: Gravitational Force, Frictional Force, Applied Force, Normal Force, Electric Force, Tension Force, Spring Force
    • Isaac Newton's first law of motion (Law of Inertia): An object in motion tends to stay in motion; an object at rest tends to stay at rest.
    • Newton's second law of motion (F=ma): A force acting on an object will change the object's velocity. The stronger the force and the smaller the object's mass, the faster the object will accelerate.
    • Newton's third law of motion (Law of Symmetry): For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
    • Contact and non-contact Forces; Balanced and Unbalanced (Net) Forces
    • Key physics terms: mass, velocity, acceleration
    • Albert Einstein's discoveries and the nature of science as cumulative

    Forces & Motion is a great complement to your curriculum resources in physical science. And, like all of our plays, this show can be used to improve reading, vocabulary, reading comprehension, performance skills, class camaraderie and teamwork, and numerous social skills (read about it!) -- all while enabling students to be part of a truly fun and creative experience they will never forget!


    Publication Information

    Story by Lisa Adams and John Heath
    Written by Lisa Adams
    ISBN: ISBN 978-1-886588-63-9
    © 2015 Bad Wolf Press, LLC

    Casting

    Flexible casting from 11-40 students. Use as many Apples, Obsolete Theories, etc. in each scene as desired. Individual roles can be doubled up; the roles of the Assistants in particular can easily be broken into 6-10 parts. For a smaller cast, one student can play several roles. Note that all roles can be played by either boys or girls; we have randomly assigned pronouns to the characters that can be changed.

    Script

    CHARACTERS:

    Narrators 1 and 2
    Laws 1, 2 and 3
    (King) Isaac Newton
    Quark, his (Evil) Chief Advisor
    Black Hole, Quark's Dog
    Gravitational Force
    Apple
    Moon
    Earth
    Stay-Put Steve
    Don't-Stop Dot
    Frictional Force
    Tension Force
    Assistants 1 and 2
    Obsolete Theory
    Applied Force
    Normal Force
    Spring Force
    Magnetic Force
    Albert Einstein

    This is the first one-third of the script:

    IMPORTANT NOTE BE FORE WE BEGIN.

    It is not easy teaching complex scientific concepts to small children. But you already know that -- that's why you've turned to us in desperation. (Just kidding!) As we researched and wrote this play, we realized we had two choices: to dally at the surface level, or to try to create a teaching tool that might actually help students grasp the foundations of Newtonian physics.

    Since the surface level never helped us much in school, we decided to aim high and take the second option. We have therefore attempted to break down Newton's Three Laws of Motion, and the Forces that govern the universe, into a series of simple-as-possible explanations that might, when built upon each other, actually aid in something like real comprehension.**

    ** This statement has not been evaluated by anyone who evaluates statements.

    As a result, there is a LOT of curriculum in this play. The show includes both verbal explanations and physical demonstrations of many scientific terms and concepts. The dialogue may be quite challenging for your students, depending on the age group you are working with. If this is the case, we recommend that students read from their scripts on stage rather than memorizing every line. There is absolutely no shame in that. The main point is the LEARNING that comes when students delve into the curriculum. You should also feel no pressure to put on a "real" performance of this play; students will get a TON out of the experience just by working with it in class.

    If you do choose to do a performance, you may want to omit portions of the longer, more curriculum-heavy scenes. We've made some suggestions in the script to help you with this. We highly recommend, though, that the entire script be used when first introducing the material to your students. Each scene, particularly those that contain physical demonstrations, should be read and acted out many times and picked apart line by line. You can supplement this initial learning with additional demonstrations and experiments, freely available online. See the Teacher's Guide following the script for more tips and recommendations.

    SCENE ONE

    (King ISAAC NEWTON enters and sits on throne. NARRATORS stand; to cut down on frequent entrances/ exits, it will be easiest to have NARRATORS on stage for the duration of the show.)

    NARRATOR 1: Once upon a time, in the enchanted land of Principia, there lived a wise and kind ruler, King Isaac Newton.

    NARRATOR 2: King Newton had three children, all named Fig.

    NARRATOR 1: That is NOT true. Stop that. Their names were Law 1, Law 2, and Law 3.

    NARRATOR 2: Really catchy names there! I'm going to keep calling them Fig.

    NARRATOR 1: Anyhow...One day King Newton asked his Chief Advisor, Quark, to summon his three children to the throne room.

    (NARRATORS sit. QUARK enters with his dog, BLACK HOLE)

    QUARK: Your children will be here shortly, Your Highness.

    NEWTON: Thank you, Quark.
    (HE looks at the dog)
    That dog makes me nervous.

    QUARK: Who? Black Hole? He wouldn't hurt a fly.

    NEWTON (hesitantly trying to pet the dog): Good boy.

    (BLACK HOLE growls and barks maniacally. NEWTON jumps back)

    QUARK: It must be your crown. He doesn't like shiny things. Maybe I should take that from you.
    (HE reaches for it.)

    NEWTON (moving back): Don't be ridiculous. So where'd you find my children?

    QUARK: Eating snacks by the pool.

    NEWTON: Not again. All of them?

    QUARK: Except for Law 3.

    NEWTON: Thank goodness.

    QUARK: She had fallen asleep on a pizza. There was pepperoni stuck to her forehead.

    NEWTON (angry): You've been absolutely right about them, Quark. I've been too patient. Things are going to change.

    (LAWS enter.)

    LAW 1: Hi Dad. You wanted to see us?

    NEWTON: Yes. I need to talk to all of you. Please sit down.

    LAW 3: If this is about me trying to organize the cats this morning, I can explain.

    NEWTON: No, not this time. Quark tells me that you were out goofing off all day.
    (LAWS look at each other guiltily)
    You are my children and I love you. But you can't just lounge around being useless. You are laws of motion, for goodness sake. You're supposed to DO something.

    LAW 2: Like what?

    NEWTON: Well, for starters, you can go out and figure out who you really are. You know, grow up a little. Quark has convinced me that this is the perfect time to send you all on a quest.

    LAW 3 (excited): A quest? You mean for gold and kingdoms and stuff?

    NEWTON: Not quite. You'll never be able to rule a kingdom if you don't understand your true nature and how you fit with the rest of the universe.

    LAW 2: Oooh! Oooh! I know that already. My true nature is... loungey.

    LAW 3 (giggling): ...and I fit right on that chair in the shade.

    NEWTON (angry): I'm serious about this. If all three of you don't succeed, I'm going to start over and create some new laws.

    LAW 1: Dad! You wouldn't!

    LAW 2: I thought the narrator said you were "wise and kind."

    NEWTON: I am. And I don't want you to fail. So I'm giving you each a special gift to aid your quest.

    LAW 3: A gift! Cool! I hope it's a pony. Is it a pony?

    NEWTON: Not quite. Quark, please.
    (QUARK carries something to LAW 3)
    For you, Law 3.
    (LAW 3 looks puzzled.)
    It's a folding chair.

    LAW 3: Geez. Uh. I don't know what to say.

    (QUARK brings three books; two are small and identical and the other is large/heavy. HE gives them to LAW 2.)

    NEWTON: I've picked these especially for you, Law 2.

    LAW 2 (holding them upside down, flipping the pages): Books? Is there some cash in here or something?

    NEWTON: Just take them with you. They'll come in handy.
    (turns to LAW 1)
    And for you, my eldest...
    (QUARK hands something to LAW 1)
    ...here is my most valuable possession.

    LAW 1: Um. It's a hockey puck.

    NEWTON: Not just any hockey puck. It's a royal hockey puck!
    (THREE LAWS all look at each other and shake heads.)
    Now, all of you, give me a hug and good luck!

    (THEY hug. NEWTON exits.)

    LAW 1 (to her siblings): Come on, we'd better get started.

    QUARK: Wait, before you go, I'd like to give you each my own special gift. Here.
    (HE hands over a silver-colored belt to each of the LAWS)
    Put them on! These are magic belts.

    LAW 2: What's so magic about these belts?

    QUARK (snickers to audience, then seriously to LAWS): Oh, you'll find out soon enough. Put them on, put them on!
    (THEY do)
    Now hurry along! You don't want any new Laws to take your place, do you?
    (THEY exit)
    Bye-bye!
    (to audience)
    I don't know if you've figured this out yet. Some of you don't look all that bright. See, I'm the evil advisor pretending to be good. It's a cliche, I know. But it's so fun! Don't tell or I'll have Black Hole here swallow you. And not even light can escape a Black Hole.

    (BLACK HOLE growls; QUARK laughs evilly; THEY exit)

    SCENE TWO

    (GRAVITATIONAL FORCE -- aka GRAVITY -- and APPLE enter. NARRATORS stand.)

    NARRATOR 2: And so Fig, Fig, and Fig set out on their noble quest --

    NARRATOR 1 (elbows #2): The THREE LAWS set out on their noble quest. It wasn't long before they came across Gravitational Force.

    NARRATOR 2: ...who was just about to enjoy a healthy snack.

    (APPLE and GRAVITY look at each other in horror)

    GRAVITY: He's not my snack. He's my friend. And he's famous!

    APPLE: Don't you recognize me?

    NARRATOR 2: Umm...

    APPLE: I'm the APPLE! Newton's famous APPLE!

    NARRATOR 1: Oh right! You fell on his head and that's how he got the idea for gravity.
    (SHE looks at #2 smugly)

    APPLE: That story is just a myth.

    (NARRATOR 2 looks at #1 just as smugly.)

    GRAVITY: But it IS true that King Newton got inspired to learn more about me, Gravitational Force, when he saw Apple here fall from a tree.

    APPLE (proudly): I'm a kamikaze apple. Cowabunga!
    (Safety permitting, APPLE can dive/fall onto something soft. NARRATORS sit. LAWS enter.)

    LAW 1: We couldn't help overhearing your conversation. We are the Laws of Motion and we need to understand ourselves or else our dad is going to write new laws to replace us. Can you help?

    GRAVITY: Of course!

    LAW 2: But how? What does gravity have to do with motion? It just holds us on the ground, right?

    APPLE (shocked): Do the words "kamikaze apple" mean nothing to you?

    LAW 2: Umm....

    APPLE: There are many Forces that affect how objects move. Gravity is one of those Forces.
    (to LAW 2) Imagine that you're hanging from a tree branch like I was. If you let go, gravity would make you fall to the ground. Now that you're on the ground, it holds you in place.

    LAW 3: But where does gravity come from?

    GRAVITY: Every object exerts a bit of gravity, but the effects are only noticeable with gigantic objects like planets and moons.

    LAW 1: But I thought there was no gravity on the moon.

    (MOON and EARTH enter)

    MOON: No gravity! Ha! Ridiculous!

    APPLE: Hey look, it's the Earth and Moon!

    MOON (huffily): That's right, I'm the moon. And I heard what you said. My gravity may not be as STRONG as SOME PEOPLE'S (indicates EARTH), but that doesn't mean I don't have any!

    LAW 1: Sorry.

    EARTH (to LAW 1): Don't worry. He's just upset because he orbits around me and not vice versa.

    MOON: That's right! I'm sick of being the sidekick. At least we could trade off once in a while. (crosses arms) I'm VERY deserving of being orbited.

    APPLE: Of course you are! But that's not how orbits work. Earth has a much greater mass than you do. Greater mass means stronger gravity. That's the reason Moon orbits Earth and not the other way around.

    EARTH: Wow, who knew?

    MOON: My goodness, I had no idea. I thought she was just being selfish. Well this changes things.

    [The explanations of mass can easily be omitted from a performance. Pick up again with LAW 1 saying, "You've all been very helpful..."]

    LAW 2: Wait, what's mass? Is it like weight?

    GRAVITY: They are related. But actually your weight changes depending on how much gravity there is.

    APPLE: On the moon you would weigh less than you weigh on earth. And in space you wouldn't weigh anything at all.

    LAW 3: Hmm. I bet a LOT of people would want to be astronauts if they knew that.

    EARTH: Maybe so. But just remember that your weight changes with gravity, but your mass doesn't.

    MOON: That's right. Mass is a measurement of the matter in your body. Gravity or no gravity, your body has the same amount of matter.

    LAW 2: Matter?

    MOON: You know... "stuff."

    LAW 3: Stuff? (gazing concernedly at belly) Like pepperoni pizza?

    EARTH: Among other things.

    LAW 1: You've all been very helpful, thanks. Do you know what we should do next?

    MOON: You must split up and find the other Forces.

    LAW 2: We don't even know what Forces are!

    GRAVITY: A Force is simply a push or pull. There are several types of Forces at work in the universe. Seek them out.

    EARTH: But beware...some of them are Unbalanced!

    LAWS 1, 2, 3: Unbalanced?!

    GRAVITY, APPLE, MOON, EARTH (as if fading from view): Use the Force!

    (THEY exit.)

    LAW 1: Well, you heard them. Let's split up and see what we can figure out.

    LAW 3: Let's meet in front of the palace.

    LAW 2: Last one there is an obsolete theory!

    (ALL exit except LAW 1.)

    SCENE THREE

    (NARRATORS stand)

    NARRATOR 1: And so Law 1 set off to learn more about herself.

    NARRATOR 2: She logged on to one of those genealogy web sites to trace her family tree.

    NARRATOR 1: She did NOT! She went searching for more Forces.

    (NARRATORS sit)

    LAW 1 (chanting to herself): "An object in motion tends to stay in motion. An object at rest tends to stay at rest." (sighs) That's what my law says, but what does it mean?

    (DON'T-STOP DOT enters. SHE is a toddler, practically vibrating with energy. SHE runs circles around LAW 1. She must move constantly the entire scene.)

    DOT: A body in motion tends to stay in motion! Stay in motion! Motion MOTION MOTION!!

    (While this is happening, STAY-PUT STEVE enters and lies down on the ground, looking up at the ceiling. HE is a teenager.)

    STEVE: A body at rest tends to stay at rest.
    (HE closes eyes and snores loudly.)

    LAW 1: Who are you guys?

    DOT (runs in place): I'm Don't-Stop Dot and I never stop moving! That's my lazy older brother over there, Stay-Put Steve.
    (STEVE gives another loud snore) He NEVER moves.

    LAW 1 (excitedly): You must know something about Newton's First Law of Motion! Well that's ME! I just don't understand what it means. Can you help?

    DOT (running around LAW 1 again): Help! Help! Helpity helpy! I love to help help help help!

    STEVE: Innn...

    LAW 1 (getting dizzy): I can't understand what you're saying --

    STEVE: errrrrr....

    LAW 1 (trying to grab DOT): If you could just stop for a minute --

    STEVE: shaaa....

    DOT: Nope can't do it, can't stop, nope nope!
    (SHE does jumping jacks in place.)

    STEVE: In...errr...sha...

    LAW 1 (walks over to STEVE and stands above him): Steve? What are you saying?

    STEVE: Innerrrshhhhaaaa...Inertia.

    LAW 1: Inertia?

    DOT: Of course inertia! We're the Inertia Family! Another name for Newton's First Law is the Law of Inertia. Objects in motion stay in motion! Objects at rest stay at rest!

    LAW 1: But that's not true! Look, when I slide my royal hockey puck across this table...
    (SHE demonstrates)
    ...it eventually stops. Why?

    [NOTE: This is the first of several physical demonstrations that will require some sort of flat surface. To ensure visibility for an audience, a table will probably work best. But you can certainly just use the floor! See page 42 of the Teacher's Guide for staging tips.]

    DOT: Don't know don't know don't know! Just have to keep moving!

    STEVE: Innnerrrrshhhha!
    (HE rolls over and snores again)

    VOICE FROM OFFSTAGE: Dot! Steve! Time for dinner!

    DOT: Gotta go! I'm having 50 energy drinks and he's having a giant turkey.

    (THEY exit, DOT dragging or somehow assisting STEVE)

    LAW 1 (shaking her head): NOW what am I supposed to do?

    (SHE moves to one side of the stage, pretending to be walking, looking around, etc. QUARK and ELECTRIC FORCE enter on opposite side of stage from LAW 1. NARRATORS stand.)

    NARRATOR 1: Meanwhile, Quark also went looking for Forces. But he wasn't trying to understand himself, oh no.

    QUARK (in true villain fashion): I'm going to cast spells on the Forces and get them to destroy Newton's Laws!

    NARRATOR 2: Right away Quark found Electric Force, who only has a very small part in this play because studies show that even a simple explanation of electricity can make people faint.

    NARRATOR 1 (hissing at #2): Shush! That is not in the script!

    NARRATOR 2: Well it's true. It happened to my cousin.

    NARRATOR 1: That's not the point! Your job is to speak your lines as the playwright wrote them.

    NARRATOR 2: I think the playwright would appreciate my commentary.

    This concludes the first one-third of the script.

    Overall Customer Rating:
    Customer Reviews: 2


    Rating:

    Pros:
    Cons:
    Science Sisters

    I am a 4th grade math/science teacher in Half Moon Bay, California. I just wanted to let you know that a cast of 4th grade girls put on Forces of Motion for their peers, parents, and administration. They created props, costumes, backdrops, and many of the actions. It was quite amazing to see these ladies, dubbed the "science sisters," put on their first play, practicing at their recesses (giving up recess is not easy for a 4th grader). Thank you for making this available!


    Kingwood, Texas.

    Rating:

    Pros:
    • Excellent Content
    • Easy to Remember
    • Fun
    • Well thought out
    • Good timing
    • Good for any sized group
    • Well structured
    • Great Characters
    • Sound Curriculum Content
    Cons:
    • None
    Forces & Motion

    All of the Bad Wolf Press products are amazing. The content is easy to remember, informative and the students enjoy performing the pieces. The parents are always impressed with the amount that students learn in the process of creating the theater performances.


    Common Core and Other National Standards

    Science

    • Next Generation Science Standard, Forces & Motion for 3rd and middle school
    • National Science Content Standard B and G for K-4th, B and G for 5th-8th

    History/Social Studies

    Language Arts

    Fine Arts

    • National Theater Standards 2, 3, 6, 7, and 8 for K-4th, Standards 2 and 6 for 5th-8th

    Vocabulary

    Scientific Terms, Concepts, and References

    force gravity orbit mass matter
    balanced (force) unbalanced (force) net (force) inertia open circuit
    velocity acceleration symmetry The Principia black hole
    classical mechanics quark subatomic particle

    General Vocabulary-Building

    maniacal kamikaze obsolete genealogy commentary
    playwright friction tension wordsmith calling (n.)
    electrocute retreat (n.) fescue kaput "buck up"
    menacing ballistic bidding exert withering
    compress henchmen functional cumulative improv
    flair Groucho Marx
    Number of questions: 0

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