Teachers & Group Leaders


Key Stage 2


This lesson introduces the concept of forces in the canal environment, and how they were, and are, used to move boats, and operate locks. It explains the concept of opposing forces (such as buoyancy & gravity). NB: This lesson would make an ideal complement to the practical workshop offered by the Museum on 'Floating & Sinking’

National Curriculum


  • SC1 Scientific Enquiry, Ideas and evidence in science 1a&b
  • SC4 Physical Processes Forces and motion 2d&e

Learning Objectives

  • To understand the meaning of the word force.
  • To discover some of the commonest example of forces that may be found in the canal environment.
  • To learn about the opposition of forces in the canal environment.


  • All children will learn that the two basic forces are push and pull.
  • Most children will be able to identify some of the forces at work around the canal.
  • Some children will understand the concept of opposing forces.
Download Lesson Plan