Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Today we explored a little with speed....

Oh don't you love speed?  When we were exploring with roller coasters we wanted them to go faster and faster.  When we watch a race, we cheer for the fastest runner.  And yet, on weekends we wish the time could go s-l-o-w-e-r...

I tweaked this lesson from Delta Education's Virgina Specific Curriculum coming soon....

  We started with a Quick Write in our journals =  What is speed?

Here are some responses...
  • speed is how fast it goes
  • the distance and time it takes to move
  • speed is the distance
  • speed is a motion that is caused by force...slow and fast are speeds
  • speed is momentum when something moves fast. It has speed like a car.
Next I read a passage out of our old text book that explains that speed does describe the motion of an object especially how far it goes and how fast it goes.

Then we gathered materials - each group got:
  • two toy cars (matchbox)
  • a dictionary
  • a mini whiteboard
  • a timer
  • a measuring tape
  • balance scale and gram stackers
In the students journals they made a chart that said:

Mass (gram)
Distance (cm)
Time (sec)


Each child in the group had a job - one would find the mass, one the distance, one time the car and one as the starter (pushed the car).

Then we looked at the data and found that in most cases, the cars with the greater mass went the furthest and longest.

We finished with a reflection question: 

What do you think would happen if you rolled a third car with greater mass than cars one and two? How far would it roll? How long would it roll?

I loved this question and here are some of the answers we got:
  • It would roll farther like 300 cm and it would take 5 - 10 seconds.
  • It would roll 1 or 2 seconds because it is greater and roll less than 100 cm...
  • Well, I know it would go further and faster because it has more force.
  • It would depend on the mass of the car.  But since it would have a bigger mass than car #1 then it would roll faster than 5 seconds and the distance would probably be more than 150 and 98.
  • I think if we had a bigger car it would go faster.
  • It would go slower because it is bigger then the other one and the other one is smaller and does not weigh that much.  It lasts about 3 or 4 seconds.
So you can see...most of us realized it would go farther, but a few need a few more experiences.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a great activity! I will be keeping it book marked for future use :)
    To The Square Inch