Lesson Plan

Speed vs. Velocity

Students will learn the vocabulary of motion, then the difference between speed and velocity. Students will graph their data for a visual analysis.
Deb Z.
Classroom teacher
Lake Shore High School
St. Clair Shores, United States
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My Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects Science

Students will learn the vocabulary of motion and how in physical science it differs from the common usage.

Students will learn the formulae for motion and will be able to solve for any of the variables both theoretically and experientially.

Students will learn how to create and analyze graphs.

Students will learn how to use simple technology and online resources.

Students will learn how to use Google Drive.

Students will work cooperatively in collaborative groups.


Grades 7 – 10
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Students will watch the following video clip from PBS Learn Media. It captures their attention right away and connects to what they already know. 


2 Direct Instruction

They will complete a worksheet that complements The Physics Classroom website for a lesson on 1 dimension kinematics. http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/1DKin/  which speaks to the difference between a scalar, vector, distance, displacement, speed, and velocity. Students will be able to work on the worksheet in small groups to scaffold their team mates and write down any questions they have for further discussion as a class.



3 Guided Practice

Free, Paid

Class discussion may be moderated through www.todaysmeet.com. Each group will be able to present their answers from the worksheet to the entire class on a discussion board. Any concepts that need to be clarified can be brought up during this backchannel, which allows students to help each other and will bring up misconceptions that need to be addressed. Each group may have one spokesperson or each student may contribute.

4 Independent Practice

Free, Paid

Students will create flash cards for the vocabulary: scalar, vector, distance, displacement, speed, and velocity. Students can play games using Quizlet until they are confident that they know the material. They can also take practice quizzes showing mastery. 

They may use the flashcards created at www.Quizlet.com  http://quizlet.com/_g6hp3

5 Wrap-Up

Google Drive
Free, Paid

Day two, in cooperative groups, students will determine speed during an outdoor activity, “Speed Challenge.” Given a table to complete and timing and measuring equipment, they will collect 3 timed data sets from different activities, such as fast-walking 5 yards vs. 10 yards; hopping 5 yards vs. 10 yards, and others. Once they complete collecting their data, they will find an average of their time values. Using the speed formula, they will determine the speed of each activity using average time and distance. These data will be graphed using Google spreadsheet.

Day three, students will complete their math calculations and graphs. We will debrief the lab using www.todaysmeet.com.

Day four, again in groups, students will complete another activity where they race Matchbox cars on wooden boards, and instead of using distance, they will use displacement (the cars tend to curve and not follow a straight path). These data will also be graphed using Google spreadsheet.

Day five, in pairs, students will practice finding speed and velocity using math practice. They will also solve for time or distance, given speed or velocity.