Learn to connect position-time and velocity-time graphs. Explore velocity using an animated car icon connected to either a position-time or a velocity-time graph, or both. Then investigate other motion graphs. Describing Velocity is the fourth of five SmartGraphs activities designed for a typical physical science unit of study on the motion of objects. (The other four are: *Maria’s Run*; *Motion Toward and Away*; *How Fast Am I Moving?*; and, *Was Galileo Right?*)

» Lesson Plan and Student Assessment documents are also available.

**WARNING:** Your data will not be saved.
Please view the requirements below before launching this activity.

**Subject**

Mathematics, Physics

**Focus Area**

Modeling and Simulation

**Grade Level**

Middle School

**License**

CC BY-SA 3.0

### AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008)

#### 2. The Nature of Mathematics

##### 2A. Patterns and Relationships

**2A/E2.**By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that mathematical ideas can be represented concretely, graphically, or symbolically.

#### 4. The Physical Setting

##### 4F. Motion

**4F/E1a.**By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that changes in speed or direction of motion are caused by forces.

#### 9. The Mathematical World

##### 9B. Symbolic Relationships

**9B/E2.**By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that tables and graphs can show how values of one quantity are related to values of another.**9B/M3*.**By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that graphs can show a variety of possible relationships between two variables. As one variable increases uniformly, the other may do one of the following: increase or decrease steadily, increase or decrease faster and faster, get closer and closer to some limiting value, reach some intermediate maximum or minimum, alternately increase and decrease, increase or decrease in steps, or do something different from any of these.

##### 9C. Shapes

**9C/M4*.**By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that the graphic display of numbers may help to show patterns such as trends, varying rates of change, gaps, or clusters that are useful when making predictions about the phenomena being graphed.

#### 11. Common Themes

##### 11B. Models

**11B/E3** (SFAA).**By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that a model of something is similar to, but not exactly like, the thing being modeled. Some models are physically similar to what they are representing, but others are not.**11B/M4** (BSL).**By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that simulations are often useful in modeling events and processes.

##### 11C. Constancy and Change

**11C/E2b.**By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that often the best way to tell which kinds of change are happening is to make a table or graph of measurements.

#### 12. Habits of Mind

##### 12D. Communication Skills

**12D/E7**.**By the end of the 5th grade, students should be able to write a clear and accurate description of a real-world object or event.**12D/M2.**By the end of the 8th grade, students should be able to read simple tables and graphs produced by others and describe in words what they show.**12D/M11**.**By the end of the 8th grade, students should be able to interpret simple symbolic equations.

**Copyright**

© Copyright The Concord Consortium

**Record Link**

<a href="stem-resources/describing-velocity">The Concord Consortium. *Describing Velocity*. Concord: The Concord Consortium, 2012, January 17.</a>

**AIP**

*Describing Velocity* (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2012, January 17), WWW Document, (http://concord.org/stem-resources/describing-velocity).

**AJP**

*Describing Velocity* (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2012, January 17), WWW Document, (http://concord.org/stem-resources/describing-velocity).

**APA**

*Describing Velocity*. (2012, January 17). Retrieved 2016, February 10, from The Concord Consortium: http://concord.org/stem-resources/describing-velocity

**Disclaimer:** The Concord Consortium offers citation styles as a guide only.
We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure.

### Requirements

This activity runs entirely in a Web browser. Preferred browsers are: Google Chrome (versions 5 and above), Safari (versions 4 and above), Firefox (version 3.6.10 and above), and Internet Explorer (version 7, 8, or higher; note that version 6 or below does not work).