Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Go SPEED Racer!!

This week I am teaching my 6th graders about speed: what is it? what changes it? how do we measure it? and how do we graph it?  Today I am engaging my learners into what it is and having them make a rough sketch of what the line graph might look like.

I started with having them write all the synonyms they could think of for the word speed for one minute with their group.   I also had them add in words they thought of when I said the word speed.  Then without using any of those words, they must come up with a definition for speed.  This stumped them big time but led to some great group discussion!!  One probing question to use is:  If you and a friend are racing, how do you know who wins?  They start connecting the idea that time is involved with speed. 

After they made their definition and we talked about it, I read them the story of  The Tortoise and the Hare- an Aesop's Fable.   They were given graph paper and had them create 2 lines on the graph showing both the hare and the tortoise.  Many of their lines look liked this:


I then showed them this video:


Tomorrow we will review what it means when something stops moving and how to graph it- that the line remains constant- it doesn't go down or up- just stays at that one place.  I will then have them go back and write how they would change their graph, and then redraw it showing the no change for the hare. 

Cant wait for those AH-HA moments!! Have a great one!

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