5th Grade Science : Direction of Gravitational Force

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for 5th Grade Science

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Argue And Give Support That Gravitational Force Is Directed Downward

Which of the following statements about gravity is true?

Possible Answers:

Gravity does not work in water, or else boats and rafts would not float.

Gravity only works on some animals, like dogs and cats, but not on others, like birds and insects.

Gravity pulls objects downward, as you can see from watching rain fall down from the sky.

Gravity can pull objects upward or downward depending on the kind of object.

Correct answer:

Gravity pulls objects downward, as you can see from watching rain fall down from the sky.

Explanation:

Gravity on earth pulls objects downward toward the ground. Rain is a good example: the clouds don't "throw" the rain to the ground, but instead when there is so much water that it gets heavy for the cloud to hold, the water then falls to the ground because of gravity. Know that gravity does work on water: objects like rocks that cannot float are immediately pulled to the bottom. And gravity does work on birds (and planes, and other things that fly) - it's just that birds have the ability to work against gravity's pull by flapping their wings. But if they stop using their wings, gravity will pull them to the ground.

Example Question #1 : Direction Of Gravitational Force

Which of the following statements is true?

Possible Answers:

When I jump up in the air I always come down because of gravity.

Birds soar through the sky and fish float in the water, so gravity doesn't always work.

Plants and trees grow upward, so they do not always obey gravity.

Gravity sometimes pulls objects sideways, like when wind blows sand into the air.

Correct answer:

When I jump up in the air I always come down because of gravity.

Explanation:

Gravity is a force that pulls objects downward, so when you jump up in the air you'll always come back down. Gravity doesn't mean that nothing can ever go up: trees can grow up into the sky, sand can blow into the air - but gravity keeps them from floating away.  

Example Question #3 : Direction Of Gravitational Force

Which of the following examples would make the best evidence for the fact that gravity pulls objects downward.

Possible Answers:

Trees grow to be many different heights.

It is easier to run downhill than to run uphill.

Big, heavy planes can fly but small animals like mice and hamsters cannot.

On a clear night you can see millions of stars in the sky.

Correct answer:

It is easier to run downhill than to run uphill.

Explanation:

The fact that it is hard work to run or walk uphill but much easier to run downhill shows how gravity pulls things downward. If you are going downhill, gravity is working with you to help you get there, but if you're going uphill you have to work against gravity.  Note that the heights of trees isn't really constrained by gravity but instead by the kind of tree, the nutrients it receives, and those things. The fact that big planes can fly also isn't good evidence for gravity; planes use advanced technology to counteract the force of gravity, or otherwise they'd be pulled down. And although the stars in the sky are affected by gravity in their own way, they're not good examples of how things are pulled downward by gravity since to us from our vantage point they're way up in the sky.

Example Question #2 : Direction Of Gravitational Force

If you wanted to demonstrate how gravity works, which of the following experiments would best show that?

Possible Answers:

Growing two plants with different amounts of sunlight and water to see which one grows taller.

Soaking two pennies, one in soda and one in water, to see what effect the soda has on the metal.

Dropping a rock and a feather off of the top of a staircase to see how fast each one falls.

Carving a piece of wood like a boat to see if it floats in your bathtub.

Correct answer:

Dropping a rock and a feather off of the top of a staircase to see how fast each one falls.

Explanation:

Because gravity pulls things down toward the ground, dropping objects to show how quickly they fall would be a good way to demonstrate how gravity works.

Example Question #5 : Direction Of Gravitational Force

Which of the following pieces of playground equipment is made fun by the fact that gravity pulls things downward?

Possible Answers:

Rickety wooden bridge

Sandbox

Slide

Cargo net

Merry-go-round

Correct answer:

Slide

Explanation:

A slide is fun because of the way that gravity pulls you down once you get started sliding. You don't have to do any work - once you let go, gravity does the rest! The other equipment requires you to climb or push; slides use gravity to give you all the fun without the work.

Example Question #6 : Direction Of Gravitational Force

Which of the following can be used as evidence to support the idea that gravitational force is directed downward?

Possible Answers:

The planets remain in the same orbit around the sun for billions of years.

An airplane lands gracefully when being piloted by an expert fighter pilot.

A basketball player bounces the ball off the ground and it returns to her hand.

A maple tree’s discarded leaves lay beneath it in late autumn.

Correct answer:

A maple tree’s discarded leaves lay beneath it in late autumn.

Explanation:

The fact that a tree’s leaves were once high in the air attached to it but now lie on the ground is evidence that, as soon as they were detached from the tree, gravity acted upon them and then fell down to the ground. Note that the airplane landing also approaches the ground, but it was not independently brought down by gravity, but instead navigated there by a pilot.

Example Question #7 : Direction Of Gravitational Force

Dani is learning about plant growth. She places a seedling on a damp paper towel. The seedling is on its side. She puts the paper towel on a sunny windowsill. Which sentence best describes how the plant will grow?

Possible Answers:

The roots will grow towards the light.

The roots will grow upwards due to gravity.

The roots will grow towards the paper towel.

The roots will grow downwards due to gravity.

Correct answer:

The roots will grow downwards due to gravity.

Explanation:

Gravity on earth pulls objects downward toward the ground. Rain is a good example: the clouds don't "throw" the rain to the ground, but instead, when there is so much water that it gets heavy for the cloud to hold, the water then falls to the ground because of gravity. In this example, the roots will grow downwards because of gravity. Geotropism is the influence of gravity on plant growth or movement. "Geo" means earth or ground, and "tropism" means a plant movement triggered by a stimulus. In this case, the stimulus is gravity. Roots explore the soil looking for water and nutrients to absorb.

Example Question #8 : Direction Of Gravitational Force

A tomato plant has been growing on a wet paper towel inside a plastic bag. It gets plenty of water and light. If the bag and the plant inside it were turned upside down, in which direction will the roots grow?

Possible Answers:

The roots will grow towards the sky.

The roots will twist around.

The roots will not grow in a bag.

The roots will grow towards the ground.

Correct answer:

The roots will grow towards the ground.

Explanation:

Gravity on earth pulls objects downward toward the ground. Rain is a good example: the clouds don’t “throw” the rain to the ground, but instead, when there is so much water that it gets heavy for the cloud to hold, the water then falls to the ground because of gravity. In this example, the roots will grow downwards because of gravity. Geotropism is the influence of gravity on plant growth or movement. “Geo” means earth or ground, and “tropism” means a plant movement triggered by a stimulus. In this case, the stimulus is gravity. Roots explore the soil looking for water and nutrients to absorb.

Example Question #9 : Direction Of Gravitational Force

A student plants some seeds in see-through pots. Over time, the student notices that the plant’s stem always grows up toward the sun, and the roots always grow down. What is causing the roots to grow down?

Possible Answers:

Air

Water

Light

Gravity

Correct answer:

Gravity

Explanation:

Gravity on earth pulls objects downward toward the ground. Rain is a good example: the clouds don’t “throw” the rain to the ground, but instead, when there is so much water that it gets heavy for the cloud to hold, the water then falls to the ground because of gravity. In this example, the roots will grow downwards because of gravity. Geotropism is the influence of gravity on plant growth or movement. “Geo” means earth or ground, and “tropism” means a plant movement triggered by a stimulus. In this case, the stimulus is gravity. Roots explore the soil looking for water and nutrients to absorb.

Example Question #1 : Direction Of Gravitational Force

True or False: Gravity can act between objects that are not touching.

Possible Answers:

True

False

Correct answer:

True

Explanation:

The statement, "Gravity can act between objects that are not touching," is correct. Gravity exerts a pull on other objects, and this can take place between objects that are not touching. Gravity can act over long distances (like between objects in the solar system). On Earth, we feel gravity when we are going down a slide or rollercoaster, riding a bike downhill, or letting a toy cr go from the top of a ramp. There is an invisible dove that pulls everything downwards, gravity.

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