Reflection: Real World Applications Creating A User Guide To Solve Basic Momentum Problems - Section 4: Pair Work: Creating a User Guide For Understanding Basic Momentum Problems


When there are students with multiple levels of ability and learning styles within a classroom, you may run the risk of losing students to either boredom or apathy or both. Many students equate computing a numerical value with solving physics problems. In this lesson, student pairs use their ability to obtain and communicate information about momentum to create a user guide for a 9th-grade audience. 

I introduce the idea of creating user guides and manuals for a specific audience because I believe that one of the best ways to demonstrate understanding is to teach a topic to someone else. At this point in the semester, we have completed the introductory unit where we talk about best practices for learning physics. Students have also had several experiences of working in heterogeneous teams at this point in the semester. Some students ask lots of questions about word choice and layout of each page. Other students focus on making their user guides easy to use and factual. I think that this part of the lesson was successful because ~80% of students were able to craft user guides that scored competent or higher on our 5-point scale. When trying to adopt this strategy, I suggest having an example user guide on a similar topic for students to view before creating their own. 

  Communicating Ideas To An Audience
  Real World Applications: Communicating Ideas To An Audience
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Creating A User Guide To Solve Basic Momentum Problems

Unit 6: Momentum
Lesson 4 of 14

Objective: Students will create a user guide to demonstrate their understanding of problems related to the momentum of an object.

Big Idea: User guides are an essential tool for communicating ideas about science.

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