August 17th, 2016

Students revisit the writing they did at the beginning of the lesson to add in more details and demonstrate all that they have learned about motion.

1.6 motion playing catch

1.8 — Motion: Home Run!

App Features

The Playground Physics app is not used in this lesson.

Expected Activity Time

  • Total Activity Time: 45 minutes
  • Introduction: 10 minutes
  • Investigation: 20 minutes
  • Discussion: 15 minutes

Materials and Prep

  • Worksheet: Motion: Playing Catch Part I (Pass out students’ completed worksheets from the first lesson.)
  • Worksheet: Motion: Home Run


Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Remind students that as a class you have been investigating the question “How can I describe the motion of the ball when I play catch with a friend?”
  • Pass back to students’ the worksheets that you collected from them during the first lesson, Motion: Playing Catch – Part I.
  • Have students read what they wrote for the definitions of the vocabulary words and the explanation of playing catch on their worksheet at the beginning of the lesson.

Investigation (20 minutes)

  • Pass out the worksheet Motion: Home Run
  • Allow students time to reflect on what they have learned and complete the worksheet.

Discussion (15 minutes)

  • Allow students to share how their ideas about the movement of the ball have changed since they first wrote their narratives.
  • Encourage students to share their reflections about the process of doing science. What do they feel they have learned about practicing science from this investigation and through the use of the Playground Physics app?
  • As a class, revisit the “Parking Lot” of questions. Any questions remaining in the “Parking Lot” that have been answered can be removed. Any new questions that students have can be added to the “Parking Lot.” Provide post-in notes and allow students to add any questions they have.
  • If students want to explore their remaining questions or new questions in more detail, Lesson 0.4 – Getting Started: Science Investigation can be used to help structure these investigations.

Worksheet Previews

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 12.25.42 PM Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 12.27.11 PM Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 12.27.46 PM

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Big Idea

The purpose of this activity is to help students connect their initial lived experiences and ideas to their new knowledge about how physicists talk about motion.

The writing component of this lesson is designed as a formative assessment to show what students have learned about motion during the unit. Students should show an improvement in their abilities to describe motion, distance, speed, velocity and acceleration.

Learning Objectives

Students will use their observations and analysis of the motion of a ball to expand on their previously written narrative.

Students will incorporate the vocabulary from this unit into their writing.

Students will reflect on the process of doing science.

Standards Addressed


Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns

Observed patterns in nature guide organization and classification and prompt questions about relationships and causes underlying them.

Science and Engineering Practices

Engaging in argument from evidence;

construct, use and present oral and written arguments supported by empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support or refute an explanation or a model for a phenomenon.

Scientific knowledge is based on empirical evidence; scientific knowledge is based on logical and conceptual connections between evidence and explanation.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

PS2.A: Forces and Motion

All positions of objects and the directions of forces and motions must be described in an arbitrarily chosen reference frame and arbitrarily chosen units of size. In order to share information with other people, these choices must also be shared.


Range of Writing

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.10: Write routinely over extended timeframes (time for reflection and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

English Language Arts: Writing

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.2: Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/experiments or technical processes.

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

Text Types and Purposes
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6,7,8.1: Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.


Standard 4: The Physical Setting
PS. 5.1a: The motion of an object is always judged with respect to some other object or point. The idea of absolute motion or rest is misleading.

PS. 5.1b: The motion of an object can be described by its position, direction or motion, and speed.


  • Motion is an object’s 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.
  • Acceleration is how fast something changes speed.