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Ramps All Around

Notice ramps and slanted surfaces in the neighborhood.


  • drawing materials
  • pencil, paper, and clipboard
  • camera or video camera
  • small ball

Key Science Concepts

  • A ramp is a surface with one end higher than the other.


Encourage children to use the words ramp, flat, slanted, up, down, and steep as well as science process words such as observe, compare, similar, different, change, and predict.


Tell children they will look for ramps and slanted surfaces outside.   

  1. Go for a walk around the neighborhood looking for slanted surfaces. Record these on your clipboard. You may also want to take photos or videos of the items the children find.
  2. Driveways or sidewalks may or may not be slanted. Give the children the ball you brought and ask them how they could use it to test whether or not the surface is slanted.   
  3. When you go inside after the walk, provide children with materials so they can draw the ramps they saw.

Note: While on your walk, be on the lookout for a gutter like the one in this morning’s video. Ask children what they think the gutter is for. Many children won’t know what it is or what it is called. Ask children to describe where it is slanted or flat.

Reflect and Share

Review the list (and pictures) of slanted surfaces the children spotted. Add these to the “Ramps Around Us” chart. Encourage children to think about the purpose of some of the slanted surfaces, such as roofs, entrance ramps, and sidewalk cuts. What kind of things do you think can roll up or down those ramps?