Unit Planner: Kinematics

Unit 2: Kinematics

Start date:

End date:

Diploma assessment

When will the content be assessed?

x Paper 1
x Paper 2
x Paper 3
x Investigation

Text book reference

Hamper 24 - 52

Inquiry: Establishing the purpose of the unit

Transfer Goals
List here one to three big, overarching, long-term goals for this unit. Transfer goals are the major goals that ask students to “transfer”, or apply, their knowledge, skills, and concepts at the end of the unit under new/different circumstances, and on their own without scaffolding from the teacher.

  • Vectors have direction and magnitude scalars have magnitude only.
  • Vectors are represented by arrows
  • Use of vectors to represent physical quantities
  • Solving problems and rearranging equations.
  • Gradients and intercepts
  • Interpreting graphs
  • Sketching graphs
  • Solving simultaneous equations.
  • Using video analysis

List here the key content that students will know by the end of the unit

  • Introduce vectors and scalars
  • Addition of vectors
  • Pythagoras
  • taking components
  • Introduce velocity as rate of change of displacement
  • calculate velocity from v=s/t
  • Define acceleration in general terms.
  • Introduce the simple version of constant acceleration.
  • Derive the suvat equations from the definitions of acceleration and average velocity already covered.
  • Consider acceleration due to gravity as an (the) example of constant acceleration.
  • Introduce the reasons for using graphs to represent physical quantities.
  • Describe motion by looking at graphs of either s-t, v-t, of a-t
  • Derive the equations for time of flight, range and maximum height for a projectile launched from a horizontal surface.

List here the key skills that students will develop by the end of the unit.

  • Solve probelms involving vector addition
  • Solve problems involving components of vectors
  • Solve problems related to velocity and displacement
  • Practice using the suvat equations.
  • Sketch graphs of s-t, v-t and a-t from the description of motion.
  • Solve problems involving projectiles.
  • Apply the suvat equations to the two components of the motion.
  • Using Algodoo to build simulations
  • Using Geogebra for mathematical modeling

List here the key concepts that students will understand by the end of the unit

  • Understand the difference between displacement and distance.
  • The sign of a vector.
  • representing vector quantities with arrows
  • Understand the difference between velocity and speed.
  • The meaning of relative
  • Apply knowledge of vectors to velocity
  • Acceleration is the rate of change of velocity.
  • Understand the relevance of the sign of acceleration.
  • Representing physical phenomenon with equations.
  • Understand the relationship between the different graphs.
  • Understand that the gradient of an x vs t graph is the rate of change of x.
  • The relevance of the -ve parts of the graph
  • Understand that the components of projectile motion can be considered separately.
  • Understand that the horizontal component has constant velocity and the vertical component constant acceleration.

Examples of real world practical applications of knowledge.

  • Vectors are used to calculate displacements in given directions for example the height climbed can be calculated from the distance walked up a slope of known angle.
  • Of course displacment and velocity are firmly routed in many applications however its worth mentioning that here we only consider the simplest examples. When planning a car trip only average velocity can be used, unless you are driving on a motorway.
  • Pretty easy to link this to the real world except that we rarely come across uniform acceleration outside the lab.
  • Important to realise than complicated motions can be broken down into simple units.
  • As with a lot of the utilisations of physics the way the physics of projectiles enabled the artillery to hit their targets is not particularly peaceful. You could use sporting examples but who calculates the trajectory of a ball before throwing it?

Action: teaching and learning through Inquiry

Approaches to teaching
Tick boxes to indicate pedagogical approaches used.

x Simulation
x Small group work (pairs)
x Hands on practical
x Video
x Student centred inquiry

Examples of how TOK can be introduced in this unit

  • The symmetry of nature, is everything either a vector or scalar?
  • using vectors to represent totally different things.
  • The use of language velocity and speed, ask students if other languages make a distinction.
  • What else is relative?
  • Is there such a thing as constant acceleration? Why study it if it is so rare?
  • Common use of "acceleration" vs physics use.
  • If a physical quantity is -ve it must have physical significance. Can you have a -ve apple?
  • Using Interactive Physics to show how the model is rather than reality.
  • The use of graphs to help us to visualise physical processes.
  • Are graphs useful to blind people?
  • How simulations make visualisation easier. By not requiring students to visualise are we losing a skill?
  • This is a good example of how physics builds up from simple to complex. Using knowledge about vectors we can extend the use of the suvat equations to solve 2D problems.
  • After calculating that 45° is the angle that gives maximum range I ask student if this is true for a sport like golf. Most think that it is since they are convinced by the physics argument, those who play golf know that it is no where near the case. Simple models only work in simple situations.

Examples of how NOS can be introduced in this unit.

  • The use of vectors to represent physical quantities is an example of how scientists build mathematical models to make predictions.
  • The way we break problems down into simple components e.g considering small steps that are constant velocity.
  • Using equations to model physical systems.
  • Graphs are a common way of representing physical models.
  • Using computer simulations to model reality.
  • Using light gates, sensors and video to measure motion.
  • Interesting to see how predicting the trajectory of a balloon doesn't work with the simple parabolic model, but by adjusting the model taking into account buoyancy and drag it works well.


What went well
List the portions of the unit (content, assessment, planning) that were successful

What didn’t work well
List the portions of the unit (content, assessment, planning) that were not as successful as hoped

List any notes, suggestions, or considerations for the future teaching of this unit

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