Observing, Qualifying and Quantifying Motion in One Direction
Students will cooperatively participate in small teams to develop models for an object moving at
a constant speed in one direction on a level surface.
Students will determine a frame of reference for the motion of a peer. Students will cooperatively
initiate and develop a qualitative model for the student motion, describing the motion utilizing
words, a graph, a motion map, or a combination of each. Utilizing the materials supplied for the
learning experience, students will practice critical thinking and problem solving to measure two
variables for linear motion, and also create and collaboratively communicate qualitative and
quantitative models for motion in one direction. Members of the lab teams will accept leadership
roles assigned by the lab team, and practice self-direction, accountability, and responsibility to
create a final reflective product.
State Mandated Content:
“For the Physical Science course, all motion is limited to objects moving in a straight line
either horizontally, vertically, up an incline or down an incline, that can be characterized
in a single step (e.g., at rest, constant velocity, constant acceleration)…The motion of an
object depends on the observer’s frame of reference and is described in terms of distance,
position, displacement, speed, velocity, acceleration and time.…All motion is relative to
whatever frame of reference is chosen…Motion diagrams can be drawn and interpreted to
represent the position and velocity of an object…The displacement or change in position
of an object is a vector quantity that can be calculated by subtracting the initial position
from the final position (Δx = xf – xi)…Displacement can be positive or negative
depending upon the direction of motion..” (Ohio Revised Standards and Model
Curriculum High School, March 2011)
Sequence Of Instruction:
1) Demonstration: Students will observe the motion of a student across a level floor. The motion
will be recorded using Vernier’s “ Video Physics for iOS.” The video will be projected via
LabQuest Viewer for iPad to the classroom Smartboard where the recorded motion will be
evaluated using manually spaced data points.
2) Using the free software, “Lino” and student Chromebooks, students will generate questions
about the motion that was observed. Students will be specifically prompted in their questions to
consider any variables that can be accurately measured. The sticky notes generated by “Lino”
will be projected onto the classroom Smartboard.
3) Students lab groups will be created randomly.
4) Student lab groups will receive a set of materials. See list below.
5) Students will be asked to create a model for a student carrying a white board, moving in one
direction and at a constant speed.
6) Students will be asked to generate a qualitative model for linear motion using the tools
provided. Students will additionally be asked to create a quantitative model for the observed
7) Students will share their qualitative models and quantitative models with the classroom in a
“white board meeting.”
8) Students will be asked to evaluate the similarities and differences of the generated qualitative
and quantitative models created by each lab group. Note: since there was no clear teacher
directive concerning the required nature of the model to be developed, student models may likely
vary, including written explanations, motion maps, graphs, and equations.
Meter stick, string, tape, dry erase marker set, two whiteboards, LabQuest 2, motion detector,
LabQuest 2 manual, electrical receptacles, classroom chairs, white board erasers, iPads,
Chromebooks. (The student iPads do not support the Video Physics for iOS software.)
Students will potentially be using electrical cords in this activity. Proper use of plugs and
receptacles will be required. Students may choose to gather data outside the classroom.
Appropriate respect for the free passage of other students must be observed.
Assessments and Outcomes:
1) Students will generate questions concerning the motion of a spherical via “Lino” sticky
2) Students will create and share a labeled qualitative model via white board.
3) Students will create and share a labeled quantitative model and explain how the model can be
used to measure motion of other objects.
4) Student groups will create a lab report using Google Docs.
5) Students will demonstrate observable and measurable relationships by creating an
6) Students will participate in sharing their models in a group setting.
7) Students will determine a frame of reference for motion.
8) Students will describe motion as positive or negative with regard to the frame of reference.
9) Students will utilize the tools provided to gather data and create models for motion.
10) Students will cooperate in gathering, sharing and evaluating data.
11) Students will practice accountability to complete all team-generated assignments.
Students have all observed motion in multiple venues. Students may or may not have pre-
existing vocabulary to describe variables that are related to motion. In this activity, students will
be given independent choice to develop models for motion using varied tools provided for the
activity. Students will need to consider the differences between a qualitative model and a
quantitative model, and also determine how a quantitative model is predictive of the data that
will be recorded in a qualitative model. Creating and utilizing appropriate graphs, students will
be required to utilize Google Docs to successfully compose a group lab report. The lab report
format draws on student previous experience with scientific thinking and usage of the scientific
method to form and test conclusions. Use of the LabQuest 2 technology and motion detector will
depend on student choice. Students will gain valuable experience in describing constant motion
with respect to measurable variables, building on previous experiences in elementary and middle
school. Students will be empowered to transfer the understanding of variables in constant motion
to other settings.