August 17th, 2016

This lesson lays out suggested “centers” (activities) that student groups can
 rotate through to collect videos required
 for later lessons. If you live somewhere 
with extreme cold or hot weather, use these centers to have students prerecord videos they will need for analysis later in the unit. Some teachers find prerecorded videos a helpful way to eliminate the additional time needed to leave the classroom to record performances for each lesson.

0.1 Getting started

0.3 — Getting Started: Fun With Physics Centers (Optional)

App Features

Students will:

  • Record a performance using the activity templates.
  • Create a path.
  • Add height or mass.
  • Adjust ground height.

Expected Activity Time

  • Total Activity Time: 45 minutes
  • Introduction: 10 minutes
  • Record videos: 30 minutes
  • Discussion: 5 minutes

Materials and Prep

  • Fun props to create videos
  • iPad with the Playground Physics app


Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Tell students that they are going to get a chance to explore the Playground Physics app by making a number of different videos that they find fun and interesting.
  • Tell students that groups will be rotating through the centers (activities) in order to film enough videos to use for their entire exploration using the app.
  • We recommend setting up the same number of centers as groups you have in your class. So if you have six groups, set up six centers. Students will need about 5 minutes at each center to complete the activity. Make sure to have the necessary props on hand for the students to create their videos at each center.
  • Videos of the following activities will be used for specific lessons throughout the curriculum. It will be most important to include these centers so you have them for later use:
    • Playing catch.
    • Jumping rope.
    • Swinging (use a pendulum if you do not have access to a swing set).
    • Other centers you may want to include:
    • Running/two-person race.
    • Basketball.
    • Dancing.
    • Frisbee.
    • Hula hooping.
    • Setting off a stomp rocket.Racing toy cars.
    • Playing marbles.
    • Flying paper airplanes.
    • Tug-o-war.
    • Create your own activity.
  • Before heading outside remind students of the tips for recording videos that they learned from the introductory Bingo activity (see Lesson 0.2 – Getting Started: Bingo). Also remind students to be respectful of other groups while outside, be safe with the activities they choose to explore, and to have fun!

Record Videos (30 minutes)

  • While outside, there is no need to scaffold any activities since student engagement in creating the videos is an important step to their analysis of physics content in later lessons.
  • It is not important to have students investigate and analyze their videos at this time; these videos will be used in later lessons if you don’t have time or ability to record videos outside later in the units.

Discussion (5 minutes)

Once you are back in the classroom, have each group share what video they are most excited to explore with Playground Physics.

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Apps used
Duration: 40-60 mins
Grade(s): 6-8
Prep: Easy

Big Idea

The purpose of this activity is to provide students with the opportunity to prerecord playful performances for use in later lessons.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to record a video using the Playground Physics app.
  • Students will be able to follow the tips to record videos that can be accurately analyzed through the use of the app.

Standards Addressed

Common Core Learning Standards

Key Ideas and Details

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.3: Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.

Text Types and Purposes

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.2.D: Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.

Comprehension and Collaboration

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6,7,8.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.


Standard 2: Information Systems

Information technology is used to retrieve, process and communicate information and as a tool to enhance learning.

Device Strategies

Single-device implementation

With only one device, you can project the iPad so that the entire class can watch and be involved in the recording and investigation/annotation of a single video.

Multiple-device implementation

With many devices, students may be broken up into teams to work collaboratively on their iPad to annotate and investigate their videos. Teams of three to four students work well. Suggestions for student roles in each time can be found in the introduction.