Can you imagine former presidents George Washington riding a skate board or Lyndon B. Johnson doing the moonwalk? What would position-time graphs of their motion look like? The Reading Speed Graphs Assignment helps teach students to use position-time graphs to find the slope of graph lines and to connect the meaning of slopes with the speeds of objects. Imagining former presidents doing activities more familiar to students these days helps to add a little fun to the activity.
The idea of “rise over run” is often taught in math classes and this assignment helps to reinforce concepts involved in finding slope. Students can draw the “rise” and “run” legs using the graph lines and they will find that right triangles of different sizes give the same results for the slope of each line.
The Reading Speed Graphs Assignment can be used as homework, as part of a discussion in class, or as group work. Students may be assigned all eight graphs or the number of graphs may be differentiated to suit the needs of individual students.