The Physics Classroom » Lesson Plans » Conceptual Physics » Free Fall and Projectiles

**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.

Lesson Plans ||Learning Outcomes and Activities || Teacher Notes || Labs

**Day 1 of Free Falland Projectiles**

**Lesson Plan**

- Introduce Unit

Define free fall; draw FBD for free-falling object; ask does mass affect how it moves?; then do ... - Lab 1 - Free Fall Acceleration

Collect video; analyze video; determine acceleration; collect class data; draw conclusion - Discuss g and its independence with mass for free falling objects

**Homework/Announcements**

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

**Day 2 of Free Falland Projectiles**

**Lesson Plan**

- 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 - 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 - 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**

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

**Day 3 of Free Falland Projectiles**

**Lesson Plan**

- 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 ... - Concept Builder: Free Fall

For student help: print/distribute Velocity-Time Tables - If time allows, beginScience Reasoning Center: Kinematics

**Homework/Announcements**

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

**Day 4 of Free Falland Projectiles**

**Lesson Plan**

- 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 - 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 ... - Concept Builder: Up and Down(Use v-t tables as aid)

**Homework/Announcements**

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

**Day 5 of Free Falland Projectiles**

**Lesson Plan**

- 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 - Quick Quiz on Learning Outcomes 1-3

**Homework/Announcements**

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

**Day 6 of Free Falland Projectiles**

**Lesson Plan**

- Physics Interactives: Projectile Simulator with this Student Activity Sheet

Do and post-lab - Guided/Pair Practice: Projectile Motion Model Think Sheet

Given d_{x}=v_{o}•t and d_{y}=-0.5•g•t^{2}, students generate d_{x}-t and d_{y}-t data for horizontally-launched projectile (v_{o}=20 m/s); and given a_{x}=0 and a_{y}=-10 m/s/s, students generate v_{x}-t and v_{y}-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 v_{x}and v_{y}vectors to scale for each position.

**Homework/Announcements**

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

**Day 7 of Free Falland Projectiles**

**Lesson Plan**

- 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 v_{x}and v_{y}vectors to scale for each position. - Summarize Projectile Motion Characteristics

Use an X-Y Table to demonstrate concepts associated with position, velocity, and acceleration for each dimension - Minds On Physics: Mission VP7 on The Nature of a Projectile
- Minds On Physics: Mission VP8on Velocity and Acceleration of a Projectile

**Homework/Announcements**

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

**Day 8 of Free Falland Projectiles**

**Lesson Plan**

- Guided Practice: Velocity vs. Time - Data and Diagrams Think Sheet

Given v_{ox}and v_{oy}, determine v_{x}and v_{y}at 1-s intervals; then construct scaled vector diagrams on a trajectory plot(do 1-2 Horizontally-Launched and 1 Angle-Launched) - Pair Practice: Applying the Projectile Motion Model Think Sheet

Do and check answers - CalcPad: Projectiles 2 on Projectile Data and Diagrams

**Homework/Announcements**

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

**Day 9 of Free Falland Projectiles**

**Lesson Plan**

- 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 the*number*of the launcher and use the same launcher for Lab 4); make measurements of peak height and useDesmos Fileto determine launch speed - ReviewApplying the Projectile Motion Model Think Sheet

Do a couple of additional examples - Concept Builder: Trajectory - Horizontally-Launched Projectiles

Use g = 10 m/s/s

**Homework/Announcements**

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

**Day 10 of Free Falland Projectiles****Lesson Plan**

- 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. - 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**

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

**Day 11 of Free Falland Projectiles****Lesson Plan**

- Project Prep:Trajectory

Collect Question/Parameters

Any questions?

"During our next Concept Builder, I will be surveying your questions and parameters and providing feedback." - Concept Builder: Which One Doesn't Belong? Projectiles
- If time allows, continue project prep: Steps 1-4 ofProject Overview

**Homework/Announcements**

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

**Day 12 of Free Falland Projectiles****Lesson Plan**

- TrajectoryProject

Work on Step 6 and 7 - Discuss Tomorrow's Test

**Homework/Announcements**

- Prepare for Test
- Complete all unfinished work