Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
- Calculate average speed, average velocity, potential energy, and kinetic energy.
- Describe and explain changes in position and velocity of a marble as it travels along a roller coaster.
- Compare and contrast distance and displacement.
- Compare and contrast speed and velocity.
- Illustrate the conversions between potential energy and kinetic energy as an object travels along a roller coaster.
- Apply the Law of Conservation of Energy to roller coasters.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
- Knowledge of the definitions and formulas for average speed, average velocity, potential energy, and kinetic energy
- An understanding of how gravity affects objects
- An understanding of how friction affects objects
- An understanding of the Law of Conservation of Energy
- An understanding of energy transfer
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
- How are average speed and average velocity determined?
- What can be done to reduce an object's velocity as it travels on a roller coaster?
- How and why does the speed of a marble change as it makes its way through a roller coaster?
- How does the kinetic and potential energies of an object change as it moves up and down through a roller coaster?
- Does the Law of Conservation of Energy hold true in this investigation?
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
Students are provided with 6 meters of semi-circular air conditioning insulation tubing and a roll of tape. They are then assigned the task of working in groups to design and construct roller coasters with at least one turn, one hill, and one loop that will allow a marble, when placed at a starting height of no more than 1 meter, to reach the end with the lowest average speed. After being given 30 minutes to design, construct, test, and modify their designs, they are provided with three opportunities to officially test their roller coasters and have the time it takes for the marble to maneuver through the roller coaster measured by the teacher. Groups are then allowed 10 minutes between official trials to modify their designs. If a marble does not reach the end of the roller coaster, no score is assigned for that trial. Upon completion of their three trials, each group will calculate the distance their marble traveled, its displacement, their marble's average speed, average velocity, and initial and final potential and kinetic energies for each trial. The group that demonstrates the slowest average velocity during the best of its three trials will be declared the winning group.
KWL and Pre-lab discussion
Building of roller coasters and collection of data
Post-lab discussion and group presentations
Lab report and Lab questions
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
A pre-lab discussion reviewing scalar and vector quantities, contact and non-contact forces, kinetic and potential energy, and the Law of Conservation of Energy should take place prior to this investigation. The students, with guidance from the teacher, should solve sample problems related to average speed and velocity and kinetic and potential energy that are developed by the teacher.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
Students will participate in a post-lab discussion, complete a lab report, and answer post-lab questions on the topics presented in this lesson.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
The students will present their findings to their peers by way of an oral group presentation and complete a lab report on this investigation.
Students will complete a lab report using a format such as the one provided, which has been taken from Miami-Dade Public Schools' Division of Mathematics and Science Education:
Lab reports will be evaluated using the following rubric which has been taken from Miami-Dade Public Schools' Division of Mathematics and Science Education:
Students will answer the following post-lab questions:
The following answer key may be used to evaluate the post-lab question responses:
Initially, the students will complete a KWL activity in which they will first list in their journals what they know about potential energy, kinetic energy, and the Law of Conservation of Energy. In a second column, they will list what they want to learn about these topics. In a third column, which will be completed at the end of the activity, the students will list what they have learned about these topics. A class discussion will then occur in order to clarify any misconceptions students have regarding these topics a provide them with enough background information to complete the upcoming investigation.
The students will then be assigned the task of designing a roller coaster with an initial height of no more than one meter through which a marble can travel with as large an average velocity as possible. They will be then work cooperatively in groups to discuss, revise, and implement their ideas. During the initial phase of this investigation, students will have the opportunity to design, construct, and test their hypotheses as they build their roller coasters and time the marbles as they travel through them. While the students are doing this, the teacher will walk around the classroom and provide each group with any guidance they might require.
Feedback to Students
Observations made and data collected within individual groups will provide the students with significant feedback as to their performance and understanding of the concepts being addressed. Peer and teacher feedback will be instrumental as they revise and expand upon their initial ideas. This opportunity to modify features of their choosing will continue through the actual competition phase. Upon completion of the competition phase, each group will be required to provide a brief oral presentation delineating the strategies they employed and their justifications.