Feb 11-15

Physics Lesson Plans

Week of February 11-15


Weekly Objectives:


  1. Prebell – Indicate whether the following are vectors or scalars:
    1. The velocity of an airplane
    2. The number of passengers on the airplane
    3. The mass of the airplane
    4. The acceleration of the plane
    5. The displacement of the airplane as it flies from Los Angeles to New York
    6. The amount of fuel required for the plane to make the trip
  2. Students who did not complete Friday’s test will have 10 minutes to complete the test.  Other students will work on creating vocabulary flash cards.
  3. Lecture/Notes:
    1. Recall the terms vector and scalar
    2. Adding Vectors Graphically – provide students with graph paper, rulers, and protractors.  Demonstrate how they might diagram and add vectors graphically
  4. Guided and Independent Practice with Adding Vectors Graphically.  Advanced students will work independently.  Instructor will provide small group instruction to students who are less adept with this skill.
  5. Adding Vectors with Trigonometry (only if enough time remains)
    1. Refresh students on trigonometric functions regarding right triangles (sine, cosine, tangent). 
    2. Pythagorean Theorem – This method works only when the vectors add together to form triangles with right angles. 
    3. Resolving vectors into components
  6. Closure – Sort students into two small.  Give each group a problem that they will solve together as a team.  They will have five minutes to work the problem out.  They must then present the problem to the class and work it out on the smartboard.



  1. Prebell:  A man hikes 530 m due north, then turns and hikes another 0.75 km due east.  Determine his resultant displacement.
  2. Quick Activity – Treasure Map:  Students will be given directions to a prize, but their directions will be given in vectors.  They must graph the vectors to draw a treasure map.  Once their map has been approved, they will be allowed to follow it to the treasure.
  3. Adding Vectors using trigonometry (if not introduced yesterday, then will introduce today)
    1. Refresh students on trigonometric functions regarding right triangles (sine, cosine, tangent). 
    2. Pythagorean Theorem – This method works only when the vectors add together to form triangles with right angles. 
    3. Resolving vectors into components
  4. Practice – Resolving Vectors into components
  5. Adding Vectors by Components – Teacher will demonstrate how to add vectors by components
  6. Teamwork – The teacher will divide the class into three separate groups.  Advanced students will get a difficult problem to solve.  Mid-level students will get a moderately difficult problem to solve.  Struggling students will get a relatively easy problem to solve.  Each group will have five minutes  to solve their problem.  At the end of this time, groups will take turns working their problems out on the SMARTboard and explaining how they solved the problems.
  7. Guided/Independent Practice on adding vectors by components– students will be given several problems to solve.  Advanced students will work independently or form small groups in which they help struggling students understand the material (peer tutor).  Teacher will work one-on-one with struggling students as well.
  8. Closure – Review some of the more difficult problems from their problem set.  Students will have a quiz on adding vectors tomorrow.



  1. Prebell  - work problems on page 67 of textbook.
  2. Review 1-2 problems from prebell.
  3. Short Quiz on Adding Vectors (less than 10 problems).
  4. After the quiz, students will read section 3-3 on Projectile motion and answer questions about the reading.
  5. Lecture/Notes:
    1. What is Projectile Motion?
    2. How did Galileo contribute to our ideas on projectile motion?  What did people believe before Galileo’s studies?
    3. What causes projectile motion
    4. Graph a parabola
  6. Students will observe the path of several projectiles as they are pushed off a table or thrown at an angle.  They will draw these paths in their notes.
  7. Closure – Show students the equations used to solve problems dealing with projectile motion.  How are they similar to equations used in previous chapters.


  1. Prebell:   Describe what causes projectiles to follow a parabolic path as they fly through the air.
  2. Solving problems on projectile motion
    1. Students will get a set of 5 sample problems. Teacher will use these problems to demonstrate how to solve projectile motion problems.   These problems will be involve  real life situations, so that students will see the relevancy of their work (throwing a baseball, hitting a golf ball, shooting an arrow, kicking a field goal, firing a bullet, etc.) Students will work keep these problems in their notebook to use as examples.
    2. Students will get a larger problem set to work through on their own.  They will turn this paper in for a grade.
  3. Closure –Show students a clip from October Sky that shows Homer using Physics equations to prove that his rocket could not have caused a fire at the coal mine.  Discuss other ways that these equations could be useful.


  1. Prebell –
  2. Lab Activity:
    1. Students will be given dart guns and a protractor.  (Note: these guns shoot foam darts.  No students will be harmed in this lab!)
    2. Students must determine what angle gives the best horizontal range.
    3. Students must hit a certain target on the wall.  They must first determine the initial velocity with which the darts are shot.  They will then determine what at what angle they must shoot the dart to reach the target.  They will then put their data to the test by shooting the dart at the predicted angle.
  3.  Closure – complete lab handout and write a reflective paragraph in which they evaluate the lab, draw conclusions, and justify their conclusions using evidence from their lab

Enrichment:  Reverse Treasure Map Activity – Allow advanced students to hide an object somewhere in the lab.  They must determine the vectors and write directions to the treasure.