Physics Grades 5th-9th

The study of physics from the Waldorf perspective is one of experience and observation followed by explanation, review and lesson work. Lessons are delivered with demonstrations. The apparatus is then quickly removed and the demonstration is explained by the teacher as the student relives the demonstration through the imagination. The lesson experience lives within the student until the following day when the lesson is revisited and finally written down which also includes artwork. 

Get an exclusive sneak peek at the Physics video series here! Take a look inside the course page to see all the resources available to you.

This video course series includes dozens of videos for physics with topics ranging from Acoustics, Optics, Thermodynamics, Electricity and Magnetism and Mechanics.

This course includes information on how to set up a physics lesson, materials to perform physics demonstrations, additional books, biographies and resources, and dozens of physics video demonstrations. Be sure to check out the video previews to see what’s included and get a sneak peek at the richness of this course.

This video series is self directed. Lessons can be done in any order if you wish. Each topic area includes a video explaining and showing the resources used for that subunit. The course page includes links to the products we’ve used. Course page also includes two haul videos with science materials from Ward’s Science and Educational Innovations.

There are currently 35 videos with another 20 videos to come!

There are seven videos showcasing the resources for these physics labs. Here’s a preview video which briefly shares the five categories of topics being covered in physics as well as a glimpse at the books, materials and additional resources used for the demonstrations.


Physics Materials

Materials from this video

For the first time we are ordering from Ward’s Science. I’m very pleased with the materials we purchased. We bought Resonance pipes, Heat Conductor, Crystal Radio kit, Heat Transfer Balls, Wood and Metal Cylinder, and Ball and Ring Apparatus.


Video duration 30 minutes

Materials from this video

This is the second time we are ordering from Ward’s Science. This time we ordered a few materials for our Electricity and Magnetism lessons. We ordered a number of rods of differing materials to compare static electricity: Stirring polypropylene rod, acrylic rod, hollow glass rod, solid glass rod and nylon rod. We also got a horseshoe magnet, a digital scale, concave mirror, convex mirror and test tube drying rack.

We also bought from Educational Innovations for the second time. The first time was for just a couple items which I didn’t share here, but it was the balancing eagle, an item from this Force and Motion kit, the centripetal spinner, Wind Gyro and polarized lense. For this haul, we bought some awesome kits!! The first one I want to share is the Magnetic Accelerator. We also got the Wave Modeling Spring, Eddy Current Rods, Egg in a Bottle, Harbottle Differential Pressure Demonstrations, Energy Chimes, DIY Galileo Thermometer, Magnetic Lodestone, Iron Filings, and the lung demonstration (which would be ideal for an anatomy unit).

For physics main lesson block involves doing a demonstration each lesson, followed by drawing and writing about it in the following lessons. While most of our lessons in optics, thermodynamics and acoustics don’t need special equipment, I am happy to add these kits and materials for some experiential lessons. Some items like the egg in a bottle or snaky waves can be DIYed, I like having the prepwork taken care of for as many projects as possible since I’ll be spending time assembling other hands on activities.



For this course, I’m using Heat, Light and Sound An Introduction to Physics by Live Education! Physics II Electricity, Magnetism, Mechanics, Acoustics and Optics by Live Education! Physics the Waldorf Way Grade 6 by Roberto Trostli, Physics the Waldorf Way Grade 7 by Roberto Trostli, and Physics the Waldorf Way Grade 8 by Roberto Trostli. I have relied on these resources heavily when putting together my lesson plans and demonstrations. I highly encourage you to add these resources to your library. I’m also adding Mel’s Science Physics Kit because we enjoyed our Mel’s Science Chemistry subscription so much. Now Mel’s has a monthly physics kit which we are eager to try out.


How to Set up Your Physics Lessons

Day 1: 

20 min. Opening Activities-mental math, games, etc. 

20 min. Brief introduction of today’s lesson. Physics demonstration. Remove apparatus as soon as demonstration is complete.

20 min.  Explain demonstration and what happened. Let the students relive the experience in their imagination.

Day 2: 

20 min. Opening Activities-mental math, games, movement math etc. 

20 min. Review of previous lesson (oral)

30 min. Artistic work for previous lesson 

20 min.  New demonstration. Remove apparatus as soon as the demo is complete.

20 min. Explanation of demonstration.

Day 3-30: 

15 min. Opening Activities-mental math, games, movement math etc. 

15 min. Review of previous lesson (oral)

60 min. Artistic work for previous lesson and written work from lesson two days previous (thinking capacity is heightened).

15 min.  New demonstration. Remove apparatus as soon as the demo is complete. During the demonstration the willing capacity is awakened.

15 min. Explanation of demonstration. The feeling capacity is engaged. 

Modified from the book Physics the Waldorf Way by Roberto Trostli

Books and Materials

Amazon Affiliate links used on this page

Curriculum



Games for Opening Activities



Acoustics

Sound, Vibrations and Musical Instruments

What do you hear when there is no sound? A soft ringing? Nothing at all? Does the silence get to you? Maybe if you grew up in a bustling city, the quiet country night would feel unsettling. Or what if you’ve never been to a big city and all of sudden it’s none stop noise? We grow accustomed to what we are used to and being in a suburb is what I and my children are used to. It’s the middle ground of noise. During the day we hear gardeners and occasionally a firetruck or police siren. Some friends live near highways so the sound of cars and trucks make up their background noise. On a spring morning, we are gifted with the sound of birds singing to their mates. What else can we appreciate about sound? Have you listened to an orchestra? Have you tried to pick out the string or wind instruments? How about listening for time and numbers? Remember pendulum clocks? They may be a thing of the past, but once they used to tell the whole town what time it was. You could listen for how many times the clock chimed or the bells rung out. Listening for pitch and tone is something else that can be done in the study of acoustics.


Video Demonstrations on Acoustics

To see the videos and lesson ideas you can purchase the video series here.


Optics

Light, Waves and Color

How different would our life be if we didn’t have light? Our life depends on it and as we learn about it, our fascination grows. I’ve added a few additional resources in our study of light by adding in Quantum Physics and the Theory of Relativity. While these are stretches to the topic and may be better placed elsewhere in Physics, I chose to include them in this video. You may wish to add them later or not at all. I also like to add picture books to our units even though they are not traditionally Waldorf. I add them because in our homeschool we still use a lot of living books. Often my children won’t even look at the pictures though! If you wish to stay more authentic to the Waldorf philosophy, use the picture books as resources for yourself to orally narrate to the children during your opening activities. I tend to do a lot of reading aloud and hands on projects for most of our main lesson blocks and unit studies. I also try to add biographies whenever possible. For this unit, I added the biographies of Einstein, Curie and Edison. Many of of our hands on projects for this part of our Physics main lesson block involved simple demonstrations we materials we made on our own.


Video Demonstrations of Optics, Light and Color

To see the videos and lesson ideas you can purchase the video series here.


Thermodynamics

Heat, Movement, Friction

Have you watched a candle burn? It’s glowing light is one beautiful sight we can enjoy, and if you are looking at it through science colored glasses then you’ll see so much more! In our thermodynamics Physics lessons during our main lesson block, we are going to explore heat transfer, burning, expansion and more. We took a little detour with these materials and included lenses and optics and telescopes as well which is a great call back to our optics lessons. The biographies we focused on were on Faraday and Galileo. After putting this video together, I recognized I could have used more resources. Since then, I’ve added a few more materials to this unit on Heat and Thermodynamics.


Video Demonstrations for Thermodynamics

To see the videos and lesson ideas you can purchase the video series here.


Electricity and Magnetism

Have you used a lemon to create electricity? Bent water with a plastic rod or made a balloon stick to a wall after rubbing it on your head? It won’t work if you’re bald! But rubbing a balloon over hair will cause the electrons to become imbalanced, just like storm clouds. Thankfully we won’t shock ourselves too badly when the electrons equalize and produce a static shock. The study of electricity and magnetism is one of more awe invoking fields of Physics in my opinion, and we love the projects we’ve done to experience and seeking understanding in electromagnetism. In addition to living books and resources, we love to add kits to our Unit Studies and Main Lesson Blocks because it brings our lessons to life. Hands on projects leave a lasting impression on the student and it’s an opportunity to bring connection with the material being learned.



Video Demonstrations for Electricity and Magnetism

To see the videos and lesson ideas you can purchase the video series here.


Mechanics

Forces & Loads, Buildings & Structures, and Machines & Tools

We use physics everyday, even when you are not expecting it. Using machines, or tools as we commonly refer to them, to help us move loads horizontally or vertically isn’t something we give a second thought to. Screw drivers, incline planes, and levers are in our home almost daily, and gears are used in our automobiles to help us get around. And if you wish to be environmental and skip using cars, you may wish to get around on a bicycle or a skateboard in which case wheels and axles are in motion.



Video Demonstrations for Mechanics

To see the videos and lesson ideas you can purchase the video series here.


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