Exploratories

Problem:

How well can you follow verbal directions to match a given graph?

Materials:

a number line with positive and negative numbers, assorted distance versus time graphs on 4 x 6 index cards, a stop watch or a clock with a second hand.

Procedure:

1. Place a number line on the board in the front of the room or using adding machine tape construct a number line that can be tape to a wall in the hallway or gym area.

2. Design distance versus time graphs that have time frames from between 10 to 20 seconds and distances that are both positive and negative See example.

3. Divide the class into teams. Each team will be given an index card with a distance versus time graph.

4. Have one member of the team stand at a specified location on the number line.

5. When directed by his/her team mates they are to "walk" as directed. Team mates but make their "walker" aware of the time required to complete each "walk" as well as the direction that they must travel. Example start at the 2 m mark and slowly move to the 4 m mark taking 4 seconds to move the 2 meters, stand still for 3 seconds and then walk backwards for 5 seconds reaching the 0 meter mark.

6. Students receive points for the degree with which they match the graphs as per their team mates instruction.

7. This procedure provides a unique review of motion along the path

Summing Up:

1. Which motions are hardest to duplicate?

2. Sketch a velocity versus time graph that would correspond to your distance versus time graph.

It is advisable to design several graphs that include negative as well as positive dispalcements. One method that has proven successful is to have students design their own graphs with in given parameters such, as those given in the procedure. Once they have designed their graphs, take them and issue their graphs to an opposing team. This normally insures that the relative difficulty will be the same. This activity can also be used for an extra credit excercise.