Reflection: Complex Tasks Exhibition Day 2: Creating An Explanation of Projectile Motion Using Angry Birds as A Model - Section 3: Modifying A Cohesive Project On Projectile Motion


I value the concept of shared authority as a way to transform students from consumers into facilitators of knowledge and deeper understanding of complex material. At this point in the semester, students have worked with defined roles to develop mathematical, physical and theory-driven models of physics concepts. With this in mind, I thought it would be a good time to ask students to take on the role of researcher. I ask students to work in pairs to obtain, interpret and communicate their understanding of projectile motion by creating a museum exhibit. Most students are comfortable working with a partner to meet the constraints that I project on the interactive whiteboard and really enjoy the uninterrupted time strategy. Some student comments and puzzles about this strategy are, "I like that I can focus on my work and have a conversation with my teacher that improves my understanding" and "Why can't we use uninterrupted time every time we have a lab?"

During the bulk of this lesson, students illustrate and explain key projectile motion concepts on a poster or as the content in a graphic novel or mini textbook. I tell students that finding novel ways to communicate physics content like projectile motion is an essential skill for practicing physics. I remind students that physics is model-dependent and although we are able to mathematically describe a projectile's motion using the Angry Bird model, the current model for predicting the range of a projectile can be improved upon. I believe that the flexibility to use research to replace or extend incomplete models is an essential part of learning and practicing physics.

  Student As Researcher
  Complex Tasks: Student As Researcher
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Exhibition Day 2: Creating An Explanation of Projectile Motion Using Angry Birds as A Model

Unit 3: Projectile Motion
Lesson 12 of 16

Objective: Students will demonstrate their understanding of projectile motion by creating a museum exhibit.

Big Idea: Creating a cohesive project that explains projectile motion in depth is a great way to learn and study physics.

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1 teacher likes this lesson
Science, Physical Science, velocity (Physics), physics, vector, vector components, Projectile Motion
  75 minutes
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