Unit Planner: Work, energy and power

Unit 4: Work, energy and power

Start date:

End date:

Diploma assessment

When will the content be assessed?

Paper 1 x
Paper 2 x
Paper 3 x
Investigation x

Text book reference

Hamper Page 73 - 85

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.

  • Define work energy (kinetic and potential) and power
  • Apply the law of conservation of energy
  • Calculate energy and power
  • Using components of a force
  • Using area under a F vs x graph to find work done

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

  • Kinetic energy
  • Gravitational potential energy
  • Elastic potential energy
  • Work done as energy transfer
  • Power as rate of energy transfer
  • Principle of conservation of energy
  • Efficiency
  • Elastic and non elastic collisions

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

  • Discussing the conservation of total energy within energy transformations
  • Sketching and interpreting force–distance graphs
  • Determining work done including cases where a resistive force acts
  • Solving problems involving power
  • Quantitatively describing efficiency in energy transfers
  • Finding area under a graph

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

  • Work and energy are scalars
  • Work is done when  a force moves in the direction of the force
  • When work is done energy is transferred
  • If a force is perpendicular to the motion no work is done
  • Power is the rate of doing work
  • A powerful car can reach high speed in a short time
  • PE is due to position KE due to movement

Examples of real world practical applications of knowledge.

  • Energy conversion in projectiles
  • Collisions
  • Inclined plane

Note: Difficult ot introduce real examples at this stage since thermal physics has not been covered.

Action: teaching and learning through Inquiry

Approaches to teaching
Tick boxes to indicate pedagogical approaches used.

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

Examples of how TOK can be introduced in this unit

  • The importance of words and the misconceptions caused by the term potential energy. Should be positional energy.
  • If a number represents a physical quantity then must its sign be physically significant. Are their any quantities that can't be negative e.g. mass, length , time?
  • What would it be like if energy was not conserved?
  • The use of the word Power and energy in everyday context. Power station, powerful, political power, energy crisis, wasting energy etc.
  • Hooke's Law applies to things that are elastic, things that are elastic obey Hooke's law.
  • The Pool balls rebounding at 90° is a nice example of intuition giving the wrong answer.

Examples of how NOS can be introduced in this unit.

  • The way that energy comes out of the inability to solve some collison problems. This isn't historically correct but it's a nice way of showing how theories develop.
  • Now it can be seen how the introduction of energy solves the collision problem.

Video clips, simulations demonstrations etc.


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.

All materials on this website are for the exclusive use of teachers and students at subscribing schools for the period of their subscription. Any unauthorised copying or posting of materials on other websites is an infringement of our copyright and could result in your account being blocked and legal action being taken against you.