Using inquiry techniques, students, working in groups, are asked to design and conduct an experiment to test Newton's Second Law of Motion. Upon being provided with textbooks, rulers, measuring tapes, ministorage containers, golf balls, marbles, rubber balls, steel balls, and pennies they work cooperatively to implement and revise their hypotheses. With limited guidance from the teacher, students are able to visualize the direct relationships between force and mass; force and acceleration; and the inverse relationship between mass and acceleration.
General Information
Subject(s): Science, Mathematics, English Language Arts
Grade Level(s): 9, 10, 11, 12
Suggested Technology:
Computer for Presenter, Interactive Whiteboard, Overhead Projector, Microsoft Office
Instructional Time:
3 Hour(s)
Keywords: Newton's Laws of Motion, Newton's 2nd Law, Law of Acceleration, unbalanced force, force, mass, acceleration, inquiry
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Lesson Content

Lesson Plan Template:
General Lesson Plan

Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
 Experimentally determine the relationship between force, mass and acceleration.
 Describe and analyze the different forces acting on an object as it moves down an incline.
 Describe and analyze the different forces acting on an object as it moves across a smooth horizontal surface.
 Describe and analyze the different forces acting on an object as it collides with another object.
 Apply Newton's Laws of Motion relate to reallife situations.
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Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
 Definitions of force, mass, and acceleration
 Differences between balanced and unbalanced forces
 Effects of friction on a rolling object
 Newton's Laws of Motion
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Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
 How are force, mass, and acceleration related?
 How can the relationship between force, mass, and acceleration be tested?
 How do Newton's Laws of Motion apply to everyday situations?
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Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
 Students, working in groups, are provided with a standard ruler with a groove down the center, textbooks, a large marble, a steel ball, a small rubber ball, a golf ball, a 0.14 liter mini storage crate, a measuring tape, and 15 pennies.
 They are simply instructed to use these materials to investigate Newton's Laws of Motion. Optimally, students will utilize the ruler as a ramp and the textbooks to change the angle of incline.
 They will roll marbles/balls of different masses down the incline and allow them to strike mini storage crates containing varying numbers of pennies which have been a certain distance from the end of the incline.
 They will then measure the distance the crates travel after being struck by the marbles/balls and draw conclusions concerning the relationship between force, mass, and acceleration.
 The teacher should only provide guidance as needed and work to ensure that only one variable is altered at a time and that multiple trials are performed.
 This guidance should encourage students to collect the following data: the number of books used to form the ramp, the masses of each of the balls/marble, the number of pennies placed in the storage container, and the distance the container is moved from the collision with the balls/marble.
 From this data, the students will be able to graphically display force (as a measure of mass of each ball/marble and the number of books) versus acceleration (as a measure of the distance the container moves).
Day 1: KWL, Prelab discussion, and Brainstorming
Day 2: Experimentation and collection of data
Day 3: Postlab discussion and group presentations
Homework Assignment: Lab report and Lab questions
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Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
Students will participate in pre and post lab discussions which will be moderated by the teacher. They will also organize data in tables such as the following:
Sample_Data_Table_from_Forced_to_Learn_Lab.docx
The teacher will then guide students in examining and analyzing data.
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Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
 Students will analyze and graph the data they have collected.
 Examples of graphs include the mass of the rolling object vs. the distance the container (containing the same number of pennies) moves and the mass of a single rolling object versus the distance the container (containing a varied number of pennies) moves.
 Then, they will prepare group presentations to present their findings to their peers.
 In the end, they will prepare individual lab reports and answer the lab questions.
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Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
The students will present their findings to their peers by way of an oral group presentation and complete a lab report and lab questions on this investigation.

Summative Assessment
Students will complete a lab report using a format such as the one provided, created by MiamiDade Public Schools' Division of Mathematics and Science Education:
Lab_Report_Checklist.docx
Lab reports will be evaluated using the following rubric created by MiamiDade Public Schools' Division of Mathematics and Science Education:
Sample_Experimental_Report_Rubric.docx
Students will answer the following postlab questions:
Newtons_Laws_of_Motion_Lab_Questions_Rev.docx
The following answer key may be used to evaluate the postlab question responses:
Newtons_Laws_of_Motion_Lab_Questions_Answer_Key_REV.docx
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Formative Assessment
Initially, the students will complete a KWL activity in their journals.
 In the first column, they will list what they know about forces, mass, acceleration, and Newton's Laws of Motion. Â
 In the second column, they will list what they want to learn about these topics.
 In the third column, which will be completed at the end of the activity, the students will list what they have learned about these topics. Â A class discussion will then occur in order to clarify any misconceptions students have regarding these topics a provide them with enough background information to complete the upcoming investigation.
The students will then be assigned the task of designing an experiment to test Newton's 2nd Law of Motion. Each group will be provided with textbooks, a ruler with a groove down the center, a measuring tape, a 0.14 liter ministorage container, a golf ball, a marble, a rubber ball, a steel ball, and 15 pennies. They will be then work cooperatively to discuss, revise, and implement their ideas. While the students are doing this, the teacher will walk around the classroom and provide each group with any guidance they might require.
Guidance will focus on utilizing the materials that are being provided to vary force and mass and to then observe the effects upon acceleration and ensuring that the students only have one independent variable in any investigation they may perform.
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Feedback to Students
The intent of the lab is to allow for as much student inquiry as possible. The teacher will be monitoring student performance, however, and provide guidance as needed. Additionally, observations made and data collected within individual groups will provide the students with significant feedback as to their performance and understanding of the concepts being addressed. In this way, both peer and teacher feedback will be instrumental as the students revise and expand upon their initial ideas. Upon completion of the investigation, each group will be required to provide a brief oral presentation delineating the strategies they employed, their results, and their conclusions.
Assessment
 Feedback to Students:
The intent of the lab is to allow for as much student inquiry as possible. The teacher will be monitoring student performance, however, and provide guidance as needed. Additionally, observations made and data collected within individual groups will provide the students with significant feedback as to their performance and understanding of the concepts being addressed. In this way, both peer and teacher feedback will be instrumental as the students revise and expand upon their initial ideas. Upon completion of the investigation, each group will be required to provide a brief oral presentation delineating the strategies they employed, their results, and their conclusions.
 Summative Assessment:
Students will complete a lab report using a format such as the one provided, created by MiamiDade Public Schools' Division of Mathematics and Science Education:
Lab Report Checklist.docx
Lab reports will be evaluated using the following rubric created by MiamiDade Public Schools' Division of Mathematics and Science Education:
Sample Experimental Report Rubric.docx
Students will answer the following postlab questions:
Newtons Laws of Motion Lab Questions Rev.docx
The following answer key may be used to evaluate the postlab question responses:
Newtons Laws of Motion Lab Questions Answer Key REV.docx
Accommodations & Recommendations
Additional Information/Instructions
By Author/Submitter
For benchmark MAFS.912.FIF.3.7, this resource only addresses Part A.
Source and Access Information
Contributed by:
Michael Weiss
Name of Author/Source: Michael Weiss
District/Organization of Contributor(s): MiamiDade
Is this Resource freely Available? Yes
Access Privileges: Public
* Please note that examples of resources are not intended as complete curriculum.