Run!

This Run! lesson plan also includes:

Your class gets to graph themselves in this full-body activity, plotting their own distance vs. time graphs for a number of different tests. After running and walking their trials, the class works to develop the connection between slope and speed, an early precursor to developing that all-important idea of the derivative. This student-driven activity is a great way to get everyone up and moving and maybe even outside, while keeping the instructional activity standard-focused.

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Consider using the lesson-suggested extensions of online simulations or graphing calculator exercises
  • With more advanced classes, investigate the distance vs. time on a second-by-second basis, instead of just measuring start and finish times
  • Try analyzing historical data for track-and-field runners in addition to student-collected data
Classroom Considerations

  • You may need to exercise sensitivity if you have students perform a timed run as pairs, given individual abilities and dynamics
  • Some learners may need a brief tutorial on the functions and use of a stopwatch
  • Keep an eye out for the common mistake of confusing distance vs. time graphing with position vs. time 
Pros

  • Real-time class-created data is analyzed
  • Non-intimidating introduction to slope as a measure of speed, as well as its physical interpretation in terms of distance
  • Extensive teaching notes and leading and closure questions provided in the activity notes
Cons

  • No closure or summative exercise provided
NGSS