Inertia Demo Day

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Students will be able to state the Law of Inertia and explain how inertia is related to the mass of an object.

Big Idea

Students present inertia demos to the class to practice explaining situations using Newton's 1st Law.

Student Demo Practice

10 minutes

The goal of this lesson is for students to be able to observe and present on Newton's First Law in many different ways. Through their presentations, students construct explanations and present their ideas to the class in the form of a demonstration. I really want my students to be able to explain Newton's First Law with a real life situation as well as for all of my students to see multiple examples of the Law of Inertia in action. After these demos, students should be able to look at any example of an object at rest or in motion and explain what happens to it in terms of inertia.

Students have worked with their partner in the previous lesson on their Inertia Demonstration. Before the demonstrations begin, I like to give students about 10 minutes to prepare and practice. I reiterate all of the important parts of Rubric that they will be assessed on during the presentation so that when they practice they will know what to say. As students practice, I make sure to walk around and listen to make sure that I am hearing the students practice and am able to correct any major errors.

Students Present Inertia Demos

55 minutes

After they have practiced, I ask students to volunteer if they want to present first. As students present, I ask them to make sure to use loud voices and to present slowly enough so the rest of the students can take notes on their demonstrations. Students in the audience take notes about the demonstrations in this document. Students record the title of the demo, a description of demonstration and how it relates to Newton's 1st Law. 

Here are two videos that show one group's demo and then their explanation using Newton's 1st Law. Prior to their demonstration, I ask the students to turn in the parent signature slip and the demonstration written explanation. Their Parent Signature Slip shows that they completed the demonstration at home and practiced it with their parents. Additionally they turn in their written explanation (Inertia Demo Group #1) where they explain what they are doing in the demonstration and how it relates to Newton's first law. In the video they show the egg drop demo so that when they hit the plate out of the way, the egg falls straight down instead of being swept away with the plate.

The next two videos show two other demonstrations that the students showed in class (Inertia Demo Group #2Inertia Demo Parent Signature Slip Group #2). Both of the documents linked are similar to the documents from group #1 where they show their demo to their parents and a written explanation of their demo. The group below shows a demo where books are on a rolling chair; when the chair hits another chair at rest, the chair stops and the books continue in a state of motion.

This final video was a really cool example a student did with a dollar bill and quarters stacked on top over the mouth of a bottle. He slid out the dollar bill and the quarters stayed on top of the bottle. 


End of Discussion Checkpoint

5 minutes

After all of the students have finished their presentations, I ask students to take out their Chromebooks to take an End of Discussion Checkpoint on Socrative. This is one of the first times my students have used Socrative, so I walk them through how to log-in to the site by going to the student log-in and putting my room number in that log-in. For this checkpoint, I ask students 3 questions about Newton's 1st Law in many situations where they need to apply what they have learned in the past two lessons. When they have submitted their answers, I ask the students to put their Chromebooks away. I do this checkpoint to see what students got out of the examples and demonstrations for Newton's first law and if they can apply it to other situations they have not seen.


For homework, students have only the second (blank) page of the Summary of Forces Handout. I ask students to fill it with definitions from their textbook so that they can have a preview to the discussion that we will have in the next class about forces and free body diagrams. The answers they should come up with should match the first page which I don't provide the students with until the next class period. My goal is for students to be able to read a little bit about these forces before we use them in free body diagrams.