This mini-unit is a 34 slide powerpoint, a rotocopter lab and three different worksheets on the concept of speed.
The powerpoint contains:
• Three different models for speed:
o strobe photos
• sample word problems to solve for speed, distance, and time
• a discussion of the differences between velocity and speed
• a discussion about differences between average speed and instantaneous speed.
At the end of the powerpoint, there are five "check yourself" slides that review the content and offer the opportunity for further discussion - great for informal formative assessments!
The five check yourself slides are followed by slides giving the answers. The worksheets are geared to both problem solving and a conceptual understanding of speed.
One worksheet is geared toward the content of the powerpoints (specifically, modeling/problem solving/vocabulary) and the other two worksheets are problem solving worksheets.
All worksheets come with answer keys.
The rotocopter lab is a simple but effective lab where students create rotocopters and investigate the factors that affect the rotocopter's falling speed. I've used this lab as an introduction to measuring speed and I've also used it to introduce air resistance and terminal velocity when learning about acceleration due to gravity.
This lab requires little in the way of supplies: the model template is included as are instructions. Your students will need the template, a pair of scissors, a paper clip, and some sort of timing device. Also included are student instructions if you want to do the lab in a guided fashion and a more open-endedsheet if you prefer to have your students approach this lab as an inquiry-based activity.
All of my powerpoints include animations so that you may isolate important points with a single mouse click or tap on your whiteboard and avoid the dreaded, "head-down, madly-copying, not-listening" powerpoint syndrome :)
This mini-unit would be appropriate as a first introduction to speed in a physical science class or in a 9th grade physics class.
As a preview, I have created a pdf file with various parts of this unit so that you can determine if it will meet your needs.