Describing Velocity

Learn about velocity-time graphs and their connection to corresponding position-time graphs.

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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.

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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.

<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, July 29, 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 30 and above), Safari (versions 7 and above), Firefox (version 30 and above), Internet Explorer (version 10 or higher), and Microsoft's Edge.

Related Resources

This resource is a part of the Concord Consortium's SmartGraphs project.

Middle School
Subject
Mathematics, Physics
Focus Area
Modeling and Simulation
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