Physics graphic stories

These picture books are stories within stories. Physicists invent reliable stories about the world that guide thinking and acting. Young children and their carers often use picture books to create stories.

The physics graphic story picture books are designed such that there are opportunities within this collaborative storytelling to introduce some of the ideas of physics.

The picture books are not designed to teach physics, but are rather a medium to explore ideas in physics, through which children might learn some of the ideas and practices of physicists.

Falling home

Luna returns home to the Earth and her pond from orbiting the Moon.
14 full-colour pictures tell the story of her return to her friends in the pond, with plenty of opportunities to discuss important ideas.
The back cover provides suggestions for readers.

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Children love the sensation of free-falling (relying on an adult back-stop). To jump, to control your motion with impulses is a big thing for many children. Accidental bumps, both large and small,  happen every day; also more or less painful ways of changing the motion with impulses. Carers talk about these bumps to provide comfort. A bump may be a large or small 'uh-oh', or a large or small 'donk', depending on what's happened. The impulse can be a large force for a short time (hitting a hard surface), or a small force for a longer time (landing on a cushion).

Here is one way of using the book to introduce some ideas that are important in the ways that physicists think about the world, drawing on jumping, falling and your language for talking about bumps.

Explore the adventure with your child, sharing exploratory descriptions, reflecting the wonder of making sense of the world.

There are guidelines for some of the story-inventing that you and your child might enjoy in the back cover.

page 1 

Luna, the spacefaring duck, is in free-fall around the Moon, unsupported by the spacecraft which is also in free-fall. Round and round Luna and her spacecraft go, both orbiting the Moon.

page 2

A small impulse changes the motion: use the local phrase for getting a bump( an 'uh-oh', or local equivalent ). A gently changing movement follows, where Luna and the spacecraft are moving away from the Moon, but still being slowed a little by Moon's gravity.

page 3

Now Luna and the spacecraft are falling together, in a state of free-fall. There are 'uh-ohs' only when Luna pushes off the insides of her spacecraft.

page 4

A large 'uh-oh', for which Luna must be prepared, by being strapped in, just like a car seat. Followed by a smaller, and reducing impulse, as the parachute reduces the speed to a terminal value. In both cases, the floor of the craft supports Luna, so Luna is not in free-fall.

page 5

A big and sudden 'uh-oh' on splashdown, so Luna stays strapped in. Once floating calmly, the floor supports the spacefarer.

page 6

Luna tells her friends about her journey, including about experiencing the large and small bumps.

page 7

The friends re-play Luna's journey, experiencing the falling and bumps. Then, the friends are planning their next adventure.

Read multiple panes in the intended order by following the arrows of the pane boundaries:clockwise around the four or six panes, starting top left..