August 17th, 2016

In this lesson students explore their play through the use of the app.


1.1 — Motion: Playing Catch – Part I

App Features

Using the motion lens students will:

  • Record a performance using the activity templates.
  • Create a path.
  • Add height or mass.
  • Adjust ground height.
  • Add high and low speed stickers.

Expected Activity Time

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

Materials and Prep

  • Fun props to create videos
  • iPad with the Playground Physics app
  • Projector with iPad adaptor (optional)
  • Worksheet: Motion: Fun with Motion


Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Tell students that they are going to explore the motions lens of the app by making a number of different videos that they find fun and interesting.
  • Share with students the worksheet Motion: Fun with Motion and have them read through the list of activities ideas with their group. Each group should add to the list by suggesting five other activities they might want to explore when thinking about motion. Remind students to be creative but that they also need to have on hand any materials they might need to enact their ideas.
  • All groups should also plan to record a video of two students playing catch so that they will have it for the upcoming lessons. Students should then star three additional activities that they plan to record while outside. Remind students they can add to their plan once outside and that they are not limited by the list they created.
  • Before heading outside, remind students of the tips for recording videos with Playground Physics that they learned from the Bingo activity (see Lesson 0.2 – Getting Started: Bingo), 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 this engagement is important for setting up later lessons.
  • Dissecting and analyzing the performances can be done on the playground or back in the classroom. Have students use the motion lens to trace a path, enter height, explore data and graphs, and add high and low speed stickers.

Discussion (5 minutes)

  • Once back in the classroom have each group share what their favorite type of motion was that they recorded & what they noticed or thought was interesting about exploring it through the use of the Playground Physics app.
  • If time allows, students can also connect their iPads to a projector and share one of the videos they created with the class.
  • Remember to check the “Parking Lot” of questions at the end of the class period. Remove any questions that have been answered and have students add any new questions that may have come up.

Worksheet Previews

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 12.08.25 PMScreen Shot 2016-08-18 at 12.09.55 PM

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Big Idea

The purpose of this activity is to allow students time to explore playful moments through the use of the app and begin noticing the science in their play. In later lessons students are required to use the app in a more controlled way to get ideal results.

Learning Objectives

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

Standards Addressed


Crosscutting Concepts: Influence of Science, Engineering and Technology on Society and the Natural World

The uses of technologies and any limitations on their use are driven by individual or societal needs, desires and values; by the findings of scientific research; and by differences in such factors as climate, natural resources and economic conditions.


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.

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.


  • Motion is an objects change in position.
  • Distance is the total amount of ground covered by an object in motion.
  • Speed is how fast an object is moving regardless of its direction.

Device Strategies

Single-device implementation

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

Multiple-device implementation

With many devices, students may be broken up into
teams to work collaboratively on their iPad to record, annotate and investigate their videos. Teams of three to four students work well. More suggestions on grouping students can be found in Lesson 0.2 – Getting Started: Bingo. Make sure to keep track of which group had which iPad.