You are on page 1of 5

Title: All Things Fall at the Same Rate

Grade and Subject: 11th Grade Physics

The class being taught is an Accelerated Physics class. The students are
all on the accelerated track for science and four of the students are gifted.
Previous to this course the students took accelerated biology and
accelerated chemistry. This lesson is about free fall. Students have already
learned about 1D motion in other contexts. Free fall problems are an
application of the general principles of 1D motion. This lesson will be
taught using the 5E model of instruction. During the engagement activity
and the exploration activity, students will complete Predict Observe Explain
POE) activities. POE activities are way to assess students ability to apply
concepts (White & Gunstone, 1992) . In this lesson, the content will be
assessed formally through a Frayer diagram and informally through class
Cedar Grove High School is 98% black, with the remaining 2% made up of
Hispanic and mixed race students. My class of 27 students is 100% Black.
The class is made up of 18 females and 9 males. Ellenwood is not very
Student diverse and my students have not been exposed to many other cultures. I
Background, have noticed that my students are very curious about people of other races
Culture, and and cultures. The school culture is very oriented towards sports, band and
Context general school pride. The students are very invested in extracurricular
activities and many see it as their pathway to college. The requirements
for good grades to participate at the high school level and receive college
scholarships cause the students to become very grade oriented.
Rationale The lessons previous to this one were on general 1D motion. Students
were introduced to the vocabulary and equations associated with 1D
motion. This lesson is an introduction to free fall and gravity. Students will
be performing experiments on free fall. During this lesson students will be
completing POE activities. POE activities can reveal the reasoning behind
students choices (White & Gunstone, 1992). Since students have prior
conceptions about free fall, it is important to draw them out. An important
context to this is what evidence is and what can be interpreted from
evidence. The lesson after this will continue to have students to work with
free fall through a lab and an online simulation. Students will be able to
compare their observations of the real world with their observations during
the simulation. Students have had many experiences with dropping objects
in their own lives. Even though they rarely speak of their own theories of
how and why objects fall, they have developed them. This learning cycle is
focused on having students articulate their own theories and compare
them to our current scientific understanding.

I choose to use the 5E model to plan this lesson. The 5E cycle flows in a
way that is consistent with current knowledge of student learning. Students
have an experience with the material that they can then use to build
explanations with. The teacher guides the development of these
explanations. Then the students complete activities that build on the
foundation. Throughout the process, the teacher evaluates the students
and adjusts to meet their needs. When using the 5E learning cycle,
students begin to take control of their learning because the teacher is not
the ultimate bearer of knowledge(Settlage & Southerland, 2012).
1. What evidence supports that all objects fall at the same rate?
Purpose of the 2. Can different scientists draw different conclusions from the same
Lesson: Central evidence?
Focus 3. What/ who dictates what conclusions should be drawn from evidence
about free fall?
Students will be able to utilize mathematical representations and verbal
descriptions to explain free fall demonstrated through their participation
in class discussion and creation of Frayer Diagrams.
Students will be able to determine what evidence for free fall is and
what conclusions could be drawn from that evidence demonstrated
through their participation in class discussion and POE activities.
Students will be able to what/who dictates what conclusions are drawn
from evidence on free fall demonstrated through their participation in
class discussion.
Students will be able to recognize the influence of culture on science,
specifically in what theories and evidence are accepted demonstrated
through their participation in class discussion.

Students come in and have the first 10 minutes of class (which is

interrupted by the announcements) to complete their bell ringer. The
classroom is laid out with students sitting at 6 tables. Students were able to
pick their own seats but they sit in the same seat from day to day. These
tables serve as the students groups when doing cooperative work, unless I
choose to strategically group them. I will transition by asking for Team
Facilitation &
Physics to give me their attention. I also give students times that a section
will end when they start it.

For this lab, students will be advised not to horseplay. They will be
instructed to maintain control over their materials at all times. When
dropping items, students should make sure that the area where they are
dropping the item is clear of people and other hazards.
Language Students will explain their observations of various lab activities.
Displacement, distance, speed, velocity, acceleration, time, free fall,
Academic Language

acceleration due to gravity (g), gravity

Vocabulary Students have already been introduced to these vocabulary words in

previous lessons. Students will use this vocabulary to describe their
observations, and develop explanations when writing. Students will also
use this vocabulary in a class discussion. The Frayer Diagram will help
students to synthesize their ideas about free fall.
Syntax or Students will use the kinematic equations to mathematically describe free
Discourse fall.
SP1. Students will analyze the relationships between force, mass, gravity,
and the motion of objects.
c. Compare graphically and algebraically the relationships among
position, velocity, acceleration, and time
GSE - Georgia SCSh1. Students will evaluate the importance of curiosity, honesty,
Standards of openness, and skepticism in science.
Excellence b. Recognize that different explanations often can be given for the
same evidence.
Anti-Bias 14. Students will recognize that power and privilege influence
relationships on interpersonal, intergroup and institutional levels and
consider how they have been affected by those dynamics.
Formal and Formal: Frayer Diagram, POE activities
Assessment Informal: Class discussion on evidence
Bellringer: Predict which will hit the ground first: a bowling ball or a
Instructional Strategies & Learning Tasks that Support Diverse Student Needs


Engage: Students will be given a POE (Predict Observe Explain) exercise.

Begin playing the video:
Pause at 1:22. Ask students to explain their predictions. Pause at 1:36. Ask
Introduction students to write down their observations. Pause at 3:22. Ask students to
(25 min) write down their observations. Stop the video at 3:45. Have students write
an explanation for what they saw. Finish video. The video finishes with a
comment about Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity. Ask: Why is this
experiment important? How did scientists draw different conclusions from
the same evidence? Who/what decides what conclusions are valid? Does
air reveal the true nature of an object or does the vacuum reveal the true
nature of gravity?
(40 min) Explore: I will release students to work at the eight stations (2 setups of 4
different stations). Students will work in groups of 3-4 that I will have
previously assigned. At each station students should start complete the
Predict and Observe sections of the POE chart.

1. Drop a bouncy ball and a ping pong ball.

2. Drop a book and a piece of paper at the same time. Then drop the
book with the piece of paper on top of it. Ask why when the paper was
beside the book it fell slower than the book but when it was on top, it
fell at the same speed.

3. Heavy box and light box

4. Doll with parachute and doll without

Explain: I will draw a large T chart on the board. On one side put Objects
that fell at the same rate and on the other side put Objects that fell at
different rates. I will hold a class discussion to decide why at some
stations objects fell at the same rate and at others objects fell at different
rates. After determining that the objects do all fall at the same rate in the
absence of air resistance, ask students what that rate is. We will do an
experiment to find that rate tomorrow. I will also ask students what
equations they think applies to free fall motion. We will discuss how our
current models for motion still work for free fall.
Evaluate: Students will make a Frayer Diagram of Free Fall. The purpose
of this diagram is to assess what conceptions students hold about free fall
and to identify lingering misconceptions. In the next lesson, I will discuss
Closure lingering misconceptions with the students.
(15 min)
Closing comment: "Today we talked about how all objectives fall at the
same rate in the absence of air. Tomorrow, we will find out what that rate
Differentiation in this lesson is allowed for by allowing a variety in product.
Although students are given a format in which to structure their answers,
the activities themselves are open ended. Students have the option to
explain with their own style of reasoning.
The exploration activity is catered towards kinesthetic learners. They will
be able to perform the experiments themselves, instead of only observing
The Frayer Diagram encourages students to explain themselves in a
variety of ways, including through pictures. The Frayer Diagram can serve
as a reference for students who struggle with vocabulary as we continue to
move through the series of lessons.
Promethean Board
Desktop Computer
Bouncy Ball
Ping Pong Ball
Materials Paper
Doll with a parachute
Doll without a parachute
Heavy box
Light box
Expo Markers

Settlage, J., & Southerland, S. A. (2012). Teaching Science to Every Child:

Using Culture as a Starting Point (Vol. 2): Routledge.
White, R., & Gunstone, R. (1992). Probing Understanding: The Falmer Press.