Lesson Plan: Newton’s Law of Gravitation Physics

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to use Newtonโ€™s law of gravitation to calculate the force due to gravity between two massive objects.


Students will be able to

  • understand that every mass in the universe is attracted to every other mass,
  • understand that this attraction can be modeled as a force that acts on the center of mass of an object, and that for two massive objects, the force on each points along the line intersecting their centers of mass,
  • use ๐น=๐บ๐‘€๐‘š๐‘Ÿ๏Šจ to calculate the gravitational force experienced by two objects.


Students should already be familiar with

  • what gravity is,
  • what the difference between mass and weight is,
  • how to use ๐‘Š=๐‘š๐‘” to find the weight of an object given its mass and the local gravitational field strength,
  • Newtonโ€™s laws of motion.


Students will not cover

  • surface gravity on large objects,
  • the gravitational field strength within large objects,
  • gravitational potential energy,
  • escape speed.

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