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Move the Teacher

In this activity, students explore movement and friction by working together to move their teacher (or another adult) using only a board and rolling cylinders.

We use rollers or wheels to help us move things. How can we use them to help us move someone, like your teacher, while they're sitting on a board?

The sliding friction of the board against the floor is much greater than the rolling friction of cylinders against the floor. That's why it is much easier to pull someone using cylindrical 'rollers' - there is less friction.

Round the Circle: printable guide.

These activities are part of Science World’s Big Science For Little Hands program. They were developed and tested with preschool and kindergarten educators.


  • Explore movement and friction.


  • Per Class:
    sturdy board or overturned table
    rope attached firmly to board or table
    sturdy cylindrical dowels or pipes (broom handles or ABS piping from a hardware store, cut into pieces a little longer than the width of your board work well. Stores will usually cut the pieces for you if you ask)

Key Questions

  • Did your idea make it easier to move your teacher? How did it make it easier?
  • What else could you use to make it easier?
  • Can you think of other round things that move?

What To Do

  1. The teacher (or another adult) sits on the board. Children try to pull the board along the carpet or floor – it’s hard to do! How can the task be made easier?
  2. With the dowels or pipes under the board, it will roll smoothly and one child should be able to pull the teacher.
  3. The other children will need to take rollers from the back of the board and move them to the front, one at a time, in order to keep it rolling forward.


  • See how many children you or the teacher can move!