Selecting and developing activities for exploring motion
Classroom Activity for 5-11
Suggestions for activities to aid the teaching of 'exploring motion' based on the Physics Narrative and the Teaching Guidance.
Ideas to emphasise here
- Choosing a point of view
- Focusing on increasing separation between the point of view and the object whose speed your measuring
- Show that finding a speed is not simple and straightforward
- Explicitly identifying the distance covered, and the length of time taken in order to figure out a speed
- Distinguish between spinning on an axis and orbiting another object
Work through the Physics Narrative to find these lines of thinking worked out and then look in the Classroom Activities for some examples of activities.
Strategies for supporting learning
- Introduce the idea that relative motion is the only motion, without causing indigestion
- Differentiate the ways in which 'time' is used
- Telling stories about journeys, relating what's observed to the record that is made
- Taking care about the use of arrows – for representing force, direction, and velocity or speed
- Sequencing the ideas carefully, drawing together the threads about force with the thread about changes in movement
These are all related to findings about children's ideas from research. The teaching activities will provide some suggestions. So will colleagues, near and far.
- Defining speed without relating it to increasing separation
- Getting bogged down in units – e.g. mph, kilometres per hour, furlongs per fortnight
These difficulties are distilled from: the research findings; the practice of well-connected teachers with expertise; issues intrinsic to representing the physics well.