Help your students learn to create and analyze displacement and distance graphs using this quick set of graphing problems! Field-tested with hundreds of students and years in the classroom, designed to get maximum results with minimum time invested for both student and teacher!
There are numerous skills that students will have to master to become experts in graphing information at the Regents, AP or general high school level. With this in mind, Activity 9 scaffolds those skills so that students can individually focus on each one.
Furthermore, since Activity 9 is the first activity involving graphing, scales are given in each question to allow students to focus on other essential graphing skills. (Students will be required to create their own scales in later activities.)
In each problem, students are required to:
- Plot points on a pre-drawn graph (with predetermined scales)
- Create a line of best fit from the plotted points
- Use points on the line to determine the speed or velocity of the object in question
The first problems provide students ‘perfect data’ that (when properly plotted) will place all points on the best-fit line. In the second section, students are given ‘real-world data’ that will create variations in best-fit lines due to the added human element in drawing best-fit lines. The last section will require students to determine the data points for displacement/distance, creating a reinforcing loop about the relationship between slope and speed.
The problems direct students to indicate which points they use in determining their slope. Students must use points that fall on the best-fit line, and if they don’t, they must determine new points that fall on their line. This is the most common mistake students make in my experience, as they want to simply use data points (or plug numbers into v = d/t). Both of those mistaken methods are only awarded credit if they actually fall on a best-fit line as well, which leads to many points given away because students use a lazy and incorrect technique.
An easy way to help students adhere to proper technique is to require them to circle the two points they used on their graph. This results in much higher rates of proper slope application in determining the best-fit slopes.
Used in conjunction with the entire Unit 3 slate of activities, Activity 9 will give your students the tools they need to be successful when dealing with graphs!
Correlates with standards and questions on the New York State Regents Exam in Physics. Also aligns strongly with many other standardized test questions in linear motion (AP Physics 1/2, SAT II Physics).
- Plot data for displacement and distance on a pre-drawn graph
- Use plotted data points to create a best-fit line using regular data points
- Use plotted data points to create a best-fit line using irregular data points
- Determine the slope of a best-fit line
- Use v = d / t to determine data points to use in graph
- 9 problems
- 30 tasks in total in questions
- Detailed answer key with sample best-fit lines and Excel-generated ‘true’ best-fit lines
- Activity comes in PDF format, ensuring accurate reprints
- Equation and Reference Sheet provided