This list provides teaching strategies and activities which will allow students to explore the quantitative relationship between average speed, distance and time. The list provides a range of activities, lesson ideas, careers resources, background information, practical tips and suggested teaching strategies.
Links and Resources
Why do we need to learn about this? Well, it comes in very handy if you want an exciting career in the video game industry!
This is a great way to start a lesson on describing motion! The seven minute film showcases how an understanding of forces and motion is required to develop certain video games. It looks at the work of a company which develops computer models that ensure objects and people in video games adhere to real world laws of motion.
As you might expect from the Institute of Physics, there’s a lot of high quality information here along with plenty of detail about a good variety of activities. It takes a little bit of time to understand how the resource is structured but it’s well worth the effort.
Each of the two main topics contains three sections:
Physics Narratives (PN)
Teaching Approaches (TA)
Teaching and Learning Issues (TL)
Old hands may want to turn straight to the Teaching Approaches whilst those outside their specialist area are likely to appreciate the background information provided by the Physics Narratives and the key points to bring out when working with students given in the Teaching and Learning Issues.
This resource is really useful, as it provides a meaningful context to learning about the quantitative relationship between speed, distance and time.
Students calculate how long it takes to travel to destinations around the globe from the UK via today's global transport options. They are then introduced to a new concept to global travel: the vacuum tube train - will this solve some of the problems they identified? This may be able to reach speeds of 4,000 mph, but is it a realistic option?
This resource was intended for maths teachers, but this is an area of the curriculum where there is much cross-over between the two subjects and it will pay to speak to maths department to see how they teach distance/time graphs.
This film uses the context of a workout in a gym to analyse someone's performance using distance/time graphs. Calculations are performed in stages throughout the video, offering a pause point for teachers to hold a freeze frame on screen while students discuss the problem and perform the calculations themselves
This resource requires get students to think a little bit more carefully about how they interpret graphical representations.
If you look at the starting points on page 1 it describes how students have often constructed distance–time graphs before but may still interpret them as if they are pictures of situations rather than abstract representations.
These resources are designed to reveal common misconceptions about distance–time graphs. The resources include clear guidance on how to run the lesson including key questions you can use to probe students understanding. Your Maths department may have used this resources before. If so you could build on that by using a similar lesson structure but a different context that involve the interpretation of graphs in a scientific context.
This resource uses a matching exercise which is one of the strategies described in the guidance material outlined in the introduction to these lists. Look at the guidance in the introduction if you would like to read more about these strategies.