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Print Forces Reading Comprehension
||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 5 to 8
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||magnitude, acceleration, negative, force, exert, mass, downward, scientist, equal, gravity, attraction, earth, certain, cause, amount, since
By Cindy Grigg
1 What is a force? A force is a push or a pull. Forces are acting all around you. Forces are even acting on you! Objects (and you) are being pushed and pulled in different directions. Sometimes the force can be seen, like when you push a toy car or throw a ball. Sometimes you don't see forces at all. Even objects that are not moving have forces acting on them. Forces have the ability to cause change.
2 Forces always come in pairs. Objects exert forces on each other. When you run into something, let's say another person, you exert a force on that person. He may fall down if the force is strong enough. But that other person also exerts a force on you. You might also fall down. You can see movement caused by the force. If you run into a wall, you might not see any movement. The wall doesn't move. You probably wouldn't fall down. But it might hurt. You pushed on the wall, or exerted a force on the wall. The wall exerted a force back on you. It hurts the part of your body that hit the wall because the wall exerted a force on your body.
3 The strength of the force is called the magnitude of the force. Forces also have a certain direction. For example, when you are standing, you exert a force on the ground that is equal to your weight. Your body is exerting a force on the ground in a downward direction.
4 Forces are measured in units called newtons. Newtons were named for the English scientist Isaac Newton who came up with the set of laws that describes forces and motion. It takes about forty newtons to lift a small dog.
5 Forces can affect objects in several ways. Forces that act on an object that is not moving can cause the object to move. Forces can act on an object that is already moving to cause a change in the object's speed or direction of movement. A force can act on an object and not make it move. Forces acting on a still object can change the object's shape. For example, if you sit on a bean bag chair, you can see how the force of your body pushing down on the chair changes the shape of the chair.
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