Examples of Gravity: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Greta VanBrackle

Greta has eleven years of experience teaching third and fourth grade students in all subject areas.

In this lesson, we'll explore some examples of gravity on Earth as well as in outer space. Let's keep reading to learn more about gravity and its effects.

Gravity In Space

Gravity is a force that attracts objects toward other objects. This force affects everything here on Earth. It even controls objects in outer space!

First, let's think about the big picture. If it weren't for gravity, we wouldn't have a planet to live on. The sun's gravity keeps Earth in its orbit, or path, around the sun. If the sun's gravitational force changed, the earth might get too close or too far from the sun to support life! It's not just Earth that depends on the sun's gravity, either. All the planets, moons, asteroids, meteors, comets, and other objects in our solar system are also affected by the gravity of the sun.

You might think that the earth is kind of like a puppet being controlled by the sun. Well, Earth is powerful, too! Did you know Earth's own gravity keeps the moon in orbit? It also keeps the satellites in orbit that send communication signals to the earth. We depend on those satellites to use cell phones! So if you have a cell phone, you have gravity to thank for being able to send texts to your friends!

Satellites are kept in orbit by gravity.
satellite

Gravity In Nature

OK, now let's talk about gravity here on Earth. All you have to do is take a look at the great outdoors to see how gravity affects our environment. Think about squirrels scurrying around looking for food. The earth's gravitational force is pulling those squirrels towards the center of the earth, allowing them to stay on the ground and find their precious acorns. That reminds me -- how do acorns get on the ground? They fall from a tree, right? Well, gravity causes acorns to fall to the ground. I guess squirrels have gravity to thank, too!

You'll never believe what else is controlled by gravity -- the oceans' tides! Tides are the rise and fall of the sea level on the coastlines of the world. Both the sun's gravity and the moon's gravity play a part in creating high and low tides here on Earth. Wow!

The ocean tides are caused by gravitational forces from the sun and moon.
Photo of shore

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