Free Fall and Projectiles Lesson Plans (2024)

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Conceptual Physics Course Package

We will be beginning a project during the 2024-25 school year in which we create a package of materials to support teachers teaching a Conceptual Physics course. The downloadable package will include slide decks, think sheets, labs, quizzes, and tests. Answer keys will be provided. This will be a for-sale item that is offered to teachers. We hope to have the project completed before the start of the 2025-26 school year.

In creating our Lesson Plans and Learning Outcomes for this course we have referenced several of the items that we intend to place in the package. We have used red text wherever we have made such a reference. These items will only be available by purchase of the course package.

Free Falland Projectiles- Lesson Plans

The lesson plans below include links to the specific resources on our website.

Teacher Guides for labs can be found here.

NOTE:All CalcPad problem sets are customized problem sets created specifically for this course. The links direct users to the Guest version. Task Tracker users should use the link on the Task Tracker page to the trackable CalcPad version.

Day 1 of Free Falland Projectiles

Lesson Plan

  1. Introduce Unit
    Define free fall; draw FBD for free-falling object; ask does mass affect how it moves?; then do ...
  2. Lab 1 - Free Fall Acceleration
    Collect video; analyze video; determine acceleration; collect class data; draw conclusion
  3. Discuss g and its independence with mass for free falling objects


Homework/Announcements

  1. Reading: Physics Classroom Tutorial, Vectors - 1D Kinematics: Lesson 5, Parts a, b, and e
  2. Complete Lab 1


Day 2 of Free Falland Projectiles

Lesson Plan

  1. Guide students through Free Fall Model Think Sheet
    Given data for d as a function of t (1 s intervals; t = 0 - 10 s), identify observable patterns in data; construct a plot of d vs. t; construct a dot diagram of motion; use Desmos to determine the equation relating d and t
  2. Guide students through How Fast? How Much Time? Think Sheet
    Given data for d-v-t (1 s intervals; t = 0 - 12 s) for a ball launched upward at +60 m/s, identify observable patterns in data; construct a plot of d vs. t and of v vs. t; construct a dot diagram of motion; note the slope of v-t graph
  3. Discuss Free Fall Characteristics
    Use velocity-time plot from Lab 1 and results from Think Sheets; emphasis on ...
    accelerating object; v changes by -10 m/s each second; give sample v-t data for upward launch; speed decreases when rising and increases when falling; v = 0 at the peak


Homework/Announcements

  1. Reading: Physics Classroom Tutorial, Vectors - 1D Kinematics: Lesson 5, Parts c and d

Day 3 of Free Falland Projectiles

Lesson Plan

  1. Guided/Pair Practice:Free Fall Speed Think Sheet with the helpof Up and Down Mathematics (Desmos)
    Determine speeds at various times for an up-and-down free falling object having varying launch speeds
    Students finish; check answers, and begin ...
  2. Concept Builder: Free Fall
    For student help: print/distribute Velocity-Time Tables
  3. If time allows, beginScience Reasoning Center: Kinematics


Homework/Announcements

  1. Science Reasoning Center: Kinematics(perfect if you have a Task Tracker subscription; student progess is saved)

Day 4 of Free Falland Projectiles

Lesson Plan

  1. Guided/Pair Practice: Vector Diagrams for an Up and Down Motion Think Sheet
    Given a data table and a trajectory diagram, students construct vector diagrams showing v and a vectors at 1-second intervals
  2. Pair Practice: Up and Down with Desmos Think Sheet
    After a demonstration of how to use the Desmos file, students solve the problems
    Check answers and begin ...
  3. Concept Builder: Up and Down(Use v-t tables as aid)


Homework/Announcements

  1. CalcPad: Projectiles 1 on Up and Down Mathematics
  2. If not done in class, completeUp and DownConcept Builder

Day 5 of Free Falland Projectiles

Lesson Plan

  1. Lab 2 - Rocket Science
    Students use a stomp rocket (or comparable launcher with 10-20 m launch height); an up and down time is determined; students determine the launch height and launch speed from the time; this Desmos file is their aid
  2. Quick Quiz on Learning Outcomes 1-3


Homework/Announcements

  1. Finish all incomplete work: Free Fall || Up and Down || SRC: Kinematics || Projectiles 1

Day 6 of Free Falland Projectiles

Lesson Plan

  1. Physics Interactives: Projectile Simulator with this Student Activity Sheet
    Do and post-lab
  2. Guided/Pair Practice: Projectile Motion Model Think Sheet
    Given dx=vo•t and dy=-0.5•g•t2, students generate dx-t and dy-t data for horizontally-launched projectile (vo=20 m/s); and given ax=0 and ay=-10 m/s/s, students generate vx-t and vy-t data.
    If time allows, generate a trajectory diagram (with position grid) showing x- and y-position of projectile at 1-s intervals; then construct vx and vy vectors to scale for each position.


Homework/Announcements

  1. Reading: Physics Classroom Tutorial, Vectors - Motion and Forces in 2D: Lesson 2, Parts a and b
  2. Concept Checker: Projectile Simulator

Day 7 of Free Falland Projectiles

Lesson Plan

  1. Review: Projectile Motion Model Think Sheet
    If not completed previously, generate a trajectory diagram (with position grid) showing x- and y-position of projectile at 1-s intervals; then construct vx and vy vectors to scale for each position.
  2. Summarize Projectile Motion Characteristics
    Use an X-Y Table to demonstrate concepts associated with position, velocity, and acceleration for each dimension
  3. Minds On Physics: Mission VP7 on The Nature of a Projectile
  4. Minds On Physics: Mission VP8on Velocity and Acceleration of a Projectile

Homework/Announcements

  1. Reading: Physics Classroom Tutorial, Vectors - Motion and Forces in 2D: Lesson 2, Partc
  2. Complete any unfinished class work - Minds On Physics: Mission VP7 andMission VP8

Day 8 of Free Falland Projectiles

Lesson Plan

  1. Guided Practice: Velocity vs. Time - Data and Diagrams Think Sheet
    Given voxand voy, determine vx and vy at 1-s intervals; then construct scaled vector diagrams on a trajectory plot(do 1-2 Horizontally-Launched and 1 Angle-Launched)
  2. Pair Practice: Applying the Projectile Motion Model Think Sheet
    Do and check answers
  3. CalcPad: Projectiles 2 on Projectile Data and Diagrams


Homework/Announcements

  1. Reading: Physics Classroom Tutorial, Vectors - Motion and Forces in 2D: Lesson 2, Partd
  2. If not done in class, completeProjectiles 2 on Projectile Data and Diagrams


Day 9 of Free Falland Projectiles

Lesson Plan

  1. Lab 3 - Launcher Speed
    Determine the launch speed of a projectile launcher by launching vertically and accurately measuring peak height; this launch speed will be used in Lab 4 (note thenumberof the launcher and use the same launcher for Lab 4); make measurements of peak height and useDesmos Fileto determine launch speed
  2. ReviewApplying the Projectile Motion Model Think Sheet
    Do a couple of additional examples
  3. Concept Builder: Trajectory - Horizontally-Launched Projectiles
    Use g = 10 m/s/s


Homework/Announcements

  1. Minds On Physics: Mission VP9on Velocity Components of a Projectile
  2. If not done in class, completeTrajectory - Horizontally-Launched Projectiles

Day 10 of Free Falland Projectiles
Lesson Plan

  1. Lab 4 - Hit the Target
    Measure launcher height above floor or above target; use Lab 3 launcher speed with the Desmos File to predict the horizontal location of the target when projectile has dropped to target height. Place target down. With teacher as witness, shoot for the target.
  2. Introduce Project - Trajectory
    Ask: What about air resistance? How would air resistance affect the path of an airborne object?
    Describe the goal of theTrajectory project.
    Demonstrate Trajectory Simulator; explain parameters
    Brainstorm some ideas/questions to ask and answer


Homework/Announcements

  1. Prepare for Project: Steps 1-3of Project Overview

Day 11 of Free Falland Projectiles
Lesson Plan

  1. Project Prep:Trajectory
    Collect Question/Parameters
    Any questions?
    "During our next Concept Builder, I will be surveying your questions and parameters and providing feedback."
  2. Concept Builder: Which One Doesn't Belong? Projectiles
  3. If time allows, continue project prep: Steps 1-4 ofProject Overview


Homework/Announcements

  1. Prepare for Project: Steps 1-5of Project Overview

Day 12 of Free Falland Projectiles
Lesson Plan

  1. TrajectoryProject
    Work on Step 6 and 7
  2. Discuss Tomorrow's Test

Homework/Announcements

  1. Prepare for Test
  2. Complete all unfinished work
Free Fall and Projectiles Lesson Plans (2024)

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