Physical Science Unit 4: How Things Move

Course Goals:

  • To develop your understanding of the nature of science as it pertains to the physical world.
  • To understand and describe, qualitatively and quantitatively, the nature of matter and apply your understanding to natural phenomena you observe
  • To experience the engineering design process and demonstrate the interrelationship with science.

Course Essential Questions

  • How can I use my experience in science to learn to think and communicate clearly, logically, and critically in preparation for college and a career?
  • How can I best assess my own learning and progress?
  • How can I better use technology in my learning?
  • How can I become a better digital citizen?
  • How can I think more divergently, create, and innovate?
  • How might scientific inquiry be used to investigation the natural world?

Unit Essential Questions

  1. How are the basic concepts, skills, and understandings in science related to one another? interrelated?
  2. How can we identify patterns in data and observations?
  3. In what ways can data be used to visualize, display, and share new information?
  4. How can motion be described and measured?


  1. Scientific measurement; SI system and why it is used
  2. Precision and accuracy in measurement
  3. Calculations are the justification for your result.
  4. Measurements and observations are analyzed using math to discover connections patterns.
Learning Targets

Students will be able to....

  1. Describe distance and displacement and explain the difference between them.
  2. Measure and record time and distance or displacement traveled by an object.
  3. Describe the difference between constant (uniform) motion and acceleration
  4. Create a scatterplot of position vs time data and describe the motion
  5. Identify change in velocity or direction as acceleration.
  6. Create a scatterplot of velocity  
Bricks   Mortar
  • motion
  • distance
  • displacement
  • time
  • speed
  • velocity
  • scatterplot
  • compare
  • contrast
  • difference
  • uniform
  • constant


  • Terms Organizer foe motion, forces, energy  pdf MSWord



  •   x

Daily Learning Activities
Day 1

Uniform motion: Distance, speed, time (today is a short class due to SBAC testing)

  • Terms Organizer for motion, forces, energy  pdf MSWord
  • Define distance, time, speed
  • Graph someone walking round the rectangular room - measure time each meter; graph time as function of distance traveled (to end up in same spot)
    • Review graphing - paper or desmos
    • Did the person move with constant (uniform) motion, or with variable motion?  How could you tell?
  • Introduce equation (speed = distance/time) as a rate of distance traveled per time (distance divided by time, distance per time, "per" means divided by)
  • Practice solving for each variable (time, if you know speed and distance)
Day 2

Uniform motion: displacement, velocity 

  • Terms Organizer for motion, forces, energy  pdf MSWord
  • Define displacement (compare to distance), time, speed
  • Graph someone walking round the rectangular room - measure time each meter; graph time as function of distance traveled (to end up in same spot)
  • Discussion: What does it really mean when you say "I love you to the moon and back?"
  • Introduce equation (velocity = displacement/time) as a rate of displacement traveled per time (displacement divided by time, displacement per time, "per" means divided by)
Day 3 Graphing constant motion; slope, interpretation; use motion maps as an additional graphic to support understanding
Day 4

Acceleration: Ramp Lab, Day 1 MSWord   pdf

Position, Velocity, and Acceleration graphs   

  • Use a motion sensor and Labquest to collect time and position data for a car rolling down a ramp.
  • Graph time vs. position, time vs. velocity, and time vs. acceleration on the same graph.
  • QUESTION: Why didn't we use a car moving down a ramp to measure constant motion?
Day 5 Acceleration: Ramp Lab Data Analysis and Graphing -
Day 6

Buggies and Ramps and Motion Sensors, Oh, my!

  • Motion Map Review
  • Carry out the ramp lab again, with motion sensor to record data.
  • Sketch the graphs and add motion maps for each graph
  • Graph it. Make a motion map.
  • Answer these prompts:

Day 7

Midquarter quiz

Motion Maps: another way to represent velocity

Next Generation Science Standards:

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