Lesson Plan: Free Fall and Weightlessness | Nagwa Lesson Plan: Free Fall and Weightlessness | Nagwa

Lesson Plan: Free Fall and Weightlessness Physics

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to describe the motion of objects acted on only by a constant gravitational force, moving only parallel to the force.


Students will be able to

  • understand that in the absence of any forces but gravity, objects at the same distance from the center of a planet’s gravitational field are accelerated equally by the field regardless of their masses,
  • recognize that 𝑔=9.8/ms is the value at which objects are accelerated near the surface of Earth,
  • understand that the perceived weight of an object in a planet’s gravitational field is due to the reaction force on it from another object that the object with the perceived weight is in contact with, where the object providing the reaction force is nearer to the center of the gravitational field than the object with the perceived weight,
  • understand that if two objects in a planet’s gravitational field are in contact while both are accelerating toward the center of the field with the same acceleration that is equal to or greater than 𝑔, neither object exerts a reaction force on the other (the gravitation between these objects is considered negligible).


Students should already be familiar with

  • Newton’s laws of motion,
  • the description of a gravitational field as a region where a body exerts a gravitational force.


Students will not cover

  • calculations involving the variation of 𝑔 with altitude,
  • drag forces,
  • universal gravitation,
  • orbital motion (or any motion other than ones parallel to the direction of a gravitational field).

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