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Understanding Newton’s First Law: The Foundation of Motion”

Grade 3
Jul 27, 2023


We are surrounded by a huge number of objects. Some are moving, some are at rest, some are speeding up, and some are slowing down. In this session, we will be getting the answer to the following question: “What causes all those movements?”


Newton’s First Law Of Motion

Suppose we keep a pencil box on a table and leave it as such for two days. When we return to see it, where do you think the pencil box would have moved to? The pencil box does not move from its place. A football lying on the ground does not move until someone kicks it or it is blown by the wind. This means that an object at rest does not move until some force makes it move.

Similarly, a moving football can be stopped by hitting the goalpost or its net. That is, a moving object can be stopped by some force stopping it.

Moreover, a moving football continues to move in the same direction until another player kicks it in another direction. That is, a body moving in a particular direction can be redirected by applying a force in another direction.

This was observed by an English scientist Sir Isaac Newton. As a result, he put forth three laws, known as the laws of motion.

Sir Isaac Newton

Newton’s first law states that,

“An object at rest remains at rest unless acted upon by an external force.

An object in uniform motion continues to move at the same pace and direction unless it is acted upon by an external force.”

Newton’s 1st law of motion

The bowling pins stay at rest unless a bowling bowl hits them. Here, the bowling bowl exerts an external force on the pins, which changes their state from rest to motion.

Newton’s 1st law of motion – Example
Man Pushing the Cart
Man Pushing the Cart
Newton’s 1st law of motion - Example
Newton’s 1st law of motion – Example

Questions and answers:

  1. Identify the forces that cause the change in the state of motion/rest of the objects shown below.
Identify the forces
The state of motion


  1. Magnetic force
  2. Gravitational force, air resistance
  3. Gravitational force, frictional force, air resistance


  1. An object at rest remains at rest unless acted upon by an external unbalanced force.
  2. An object in uniform motion continues to move at the same pace and direction unless it is acted upon by an unbalanced force.
Newton's First Law Of Motion


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