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Next Generation Science Standards-Aligned MIT Blossoms Lesson—Hanging by a Thread

Subject SciencePhysics
Grade Level Grades 9-12
Resource Type Handout


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NGSS-Aligned Physics Video Lesson

MIT BLOSSOMS has created five video lessons to support STEM teachers by demonstrating the three-dimensional instruction required in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Each of these lessons was developed around a specific standard, and the resources included in these pages are intended to illustrate the thinking that went into constructing each lesson to align with NGSS. We are hopeful that these resources will be valuable in guiding STEM teachers as they work to align their own classroom lessons with NGSS. We encourage teachers to refer to the BLOSSOMS Coaching Template (BLOSSOMS Coaching Template pdf handout below) which is designed to help them adapt their lessons by clearly defining what the students are doing and what the teacher is doing.

We also believe that these resource materials could be used as the basis for a Teacher Professional Learning (TPL) workshop for NGSS and have included a Workshop Facilitator Guide (Workshop Facilitator Guide pdf handout below), plus accompanying resources, developed for this purpose.

The lesson includes a BLOSSOMS video and the NGSS Instructional Resources for that lesson.

For more information on BLOSSOMS NGSS For Teachers, visit:


NGSS Instructional Resources for "Hanging by a Thread"

This lesson focuses on two elements: understanding Newton’s laws of motion, and how to use Newton’s laws to create force diagrams. The lesson also demonstrates how to incorporate requirements of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) into a physics lesson. It uses a discrepant event (phenomenon) to model forces (force diagrams) at work on an object resulting in motion. This one demonstration can achieve a deeper understanding of Newton’s laws because students are provided the time to investigate using the three dimensions of the NGSS to explain the phenomenon.

The objectives of this lessons are:

  • Students will apply their understanding of Newton’s Laws to predict the outcome of a demonstration.
  • They will develop a model to explain the cause and effect of two strings being pulled with unequal forces acting upon 2 identical masses.
  • They will plan and conduct an investigation to find evidence to validate their claim.

The Performance Expectations of this lesson are:

  •  HS PS2-1: Motion and Stability, Forces and Interactions
  • Analyze data to support the claim that Newton’s second law of motion describes the mathematical relationship among the net force on a macroscopic object, its mass, and its acceleration. 

NGSS-Related Teacher Resources for this Lesson​

Handout for this lesson can be found here on Share My Lesson or on the MIT BLOSSOMS site.




Handout, Worksheet
November 18, 2020
1.6 MB
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Handout, Worksheet
November 18, 2020
1.1 MB
Log in or sign up to download resources.
Hanging By A Thread
Remote video URL


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