Diverse Learner: ELPS (gifted)

This lesson plan is designed to meet the needs of gifted learners. Gifted learners have many characteristics. They are able to conceptualize abstract concepts better than their peers. They organize and synthesize new ideas better than their peers. They are able to analyze data systematically and identify patterns better than their peers.

Gifted learners are drawn to complexity and tend to enjoy problem-solving. In the classroom these learners need most of all to be challenged. They will lose interest in a lesson that is too easy and identify it as “busy work”. Gifted learners can usually learn using a variety of methods. The tend to have preferences, but are able to learn easier than their peers using any type of stimulus (oral, written, visual, kinesthetic, etc.)

NTEQ LESSON PLAN

LESSON TITLE: Newton’s Second Law

SUBJECT AREA: Science

GRADE LEVEL: 7

Learning Objective

By the end of this lesson, students will understand the relationship between force and acceleration and mass and acceleration (force is directly proportional to acceleration and mass is inversely proportional to acceleration, a = F / m)

Computer Functions

Spreadsheets will be used to calculate acceleration

Spreadsheets will be used to graph acceleration

The Internet will be used to research weight and acceleration due to gravity

Publishing software will be used to create a flyer

Specify Problem

Use Newton’s second law to explain why 2 objects with different masses fall with the same acceleration (in a vacuum).

Data Manipulation

Students will use a spreadsheet simulation (keeping mass constant) to determine the relationship between force and acceleration

Students will use a spreadsheet simulation (keeping force constant) to determine the relationship between mass and acceleration

Students will use publishing software to edit and revise a report on the results of the tests.

Results Presentation

The final product will be a publisher flyer that solves the problem “Use Newton’s second law to explain why 2 objects with different masses fall with the same acceleration (in a vacuum)”. The product should include:

• 2 Graphs (1 from each simulation)

• 2 scientific laws based on the graphs

• Definition and formula for weight

• Definition and value for acceleration due to gravity

• The solution to the problem with a detailed explanation using all the above information.

Multidimensional Activities

Small groups of students complete the following activities.

Activities During Computer Use

The following computer tasks are divided among group members:

Enter testing data.

Create a graph that effectively depicts the results of each test.

Research weight and acceleration due to gravity

Activities Before Computer Use

Determine how to use the spreadsheet simulations (i.e., formulas for calculating the acceleration and how to make a graph).

Create search terms for research.

Activities After Computer Use

Answer the Think Sheet items:

Write a scientific law based on your graph that explains the relationship between force and acceleration.

Write a scientific law based on your graph that explains the relationship between mass and acceleration.

Explain how weight and force are related

Explain why the acceleration due to gravity is always the same.

Whole class discussion:

Facilitate a review of the objective based on each group’s answers to the Think Sheet items.

Supporting Activities

Word problems using the formulas F=ma, a=F/m, and m=F/a

Assessment

Use the following rubric

CATEGORY 4 3 2 1

Attractiveness & Organization The product has exceptionally attractive formatting and well-organized information. The product has attractive formatting and well-organized information. The product has well-organized information. The product’s formatting and organization of material are confusing to the reader.

Graphs Graphs are accurate and include titles, labels, and units. Graphs are accurate, but may be missing some titles, labels or units. Graphs are accurate, but most or all of the titles, labels and units are missing. Graphs are not accurate.

Definitions and Formulas All facts in the product are accurate. 99-90% of the facts in the product are accurate. 89-80% of the facts in the product are accurate. Fewer than 80% of the facts in the product are accurate.

Definitions and Formulas All facts in the product are accurate. 99-90% of the facts in the product are accurate. 89-80% of the facts in the product are accurate. Fewer than 80% of the facts in the product are accurate.

Solution to the Problem The solution is correct and thoroughly explained. The solution is correct, but the explanation left some information out. The solution is mostly correct, but some mistakes were made. OR The solution is accurate, but most info is missing. The solution is mostly wrong.

Meeting the Needs of Gifted Learners:

This is a complex problem created to challenge gifted learners. In order to solve the problem it requires two levels of analysis. First, the student analyzes data to find a pattern and then creates a scientific law based on the data. An average learner would be able to do this step. Secondly, the students must apply the scientific law they created to solve the problem.

Solving the problem involves additional data: the acceleration due to gravity and the formula for weight. Now the student is required to piece together all three components of information to explain a counter intuitive aspect of the physical world: why 2 objects of different weight fall at the same rate.

Solving this problem involves advanced analytical and abstract thinking and the synthesis of complex concepts. The gifted learners will be challenged to use all their gifts and talents to solve the problem. If a student is exceptionally gifted, the lesson can be adapted. Let these students discovery that they need the acceleration due to gravity and the formula for weight on their own as you facilitate by asking questions.