Lesson Plan: Exploring Newton’s 3rd Law in Sports

EXPLORING NEWTON’S 3rd LAW IN SPORTS

Unit: Dynamics
Date: November 19th, 2012
Day/Block: Day 3 / A Block
Time Available: 65 min

Teacher Prep:

  • Ensure prerequisite knowledge of: introduction to Newton’s 3rd Law
  • Make slides (including one for Objective and Criteria for Success)
  • Print and copy exit tickets
  • Rehearse lesson and do the work of the students

Lesson Objective:
You will be able to identify action-reaction force pairs and make predictions about motion using Newton’s Third Law.

Criteria for Success:
You will be able to explain what Newton’s 3rd Law says about forces.
You will be able to use Newton’s 3rd Law to predict what forces will act on an object in physical scenarios.

Assessment:
Exit ticket.

Agenda:

[5 min] Do Now


Newton’s 3rd Law tells us that all forces come in action-reaction pairs. List the action-reaction force pairs that you can think of on the red football player. (Hint: Mr. Ratnayake sees at least 4). Draw a free body diagram of the red football player.

[1 min] Making Explicit the Content of the Lesson

Hang on to what you did for the Do Now. We will be returning to it later on in the lesson.

Lesson Objective: You will be able to identify action-reaction force pairs and make predictions about motion using Newton’s Third Law.

Criteria for Success:
You will be able to explain what Newton’s 3rd Law says about forces.
You will be able to use Newton’s 3rd Law to predict what forces will act on an object in physical scenarios.

* Ask students to revoice the objective and CfS.

[10 min] Mini-Lecture 1: Review of Newton’s 3rd Law

[7 min for lecture] Review the main points of the third law.

  • There is no such thing as a single force — forces always come in action-reaction pairs.
  • Action-reaction pairs are the same kind of force acting on different objects.
  • Action-reaction pair have equal magnitude forces acting in opposite directions.

* Ask students, what do you think I mean by “same kind of force”? (Gravity, perpendicular contact force, parallel contact force, etc).
* Ask students, what do you think I mean by “magnitude”? (Strength of the force, size of the force, the value of the number, etc).

[3min for processing time] Take 2 minutes to check with a partner next to you. Look back at your list of action-reaction pairs from the Do Now. Do the pairs on your list fit what we just wrote down about Newton’s 3rd Law? I will ask someone to tell me about what their partner wrote.

* Ask students to name a force pair that their partner wrote down, and why they think it fits the description of an action reaction pair.  Draw the force pairs on the football player.

[10 min] Mini-Lecture 2: Review of Free Body Diagrams.

[5 min for lecture] A Free Body Diagram of an object only shows the forces acting on that object.
Free Body Diagrams do not include the forces that the object itself applies on other things.

Ask yourself: if I were this object, which forces would I feel acting on me?

Block on a surface example. There are two action-reaction pairs:

  1. gravity from the earth on the block, with gravity from the block on the earth
  2. contact force from the block to the surface, with contact force from the surface to the block

Which of these forces do you think the block is feeling? (normal force and weight). Draw FBD.

[2 min for processing time] Take 1 minute to check with a partner next to you. Look back at your free body diagrams from the Do Now. Does your partner’s FBD of the football player obey the rules of a free body diagram?

[3 min for closure on the Do Now] * Have a student draw the free body diagram for the red football player. Use questions for students to correct it if necessary.

[1 min] Instructions for Scenarios

Take 1 minute to read the directions for this next segment. I will call on a student to explain what we are doing for the class.

  • You will be given a scenario and several questions for discussion in your table group.
  • I will call on someone for each part of the discussion questions.
  • If they represent their group well, the whole group gets a stamp.

*Ask students: What are we going to be doing?

[15 min] Scenario 1: Serena Williams — Tennis

[15 min total, 8 min to discuss with group and work out the scenario, 7 min for discussion]

Tennis star Serena Williams uses Newton’s Laws to get the tennis ball to move.

  • Describe the action-reaction force pair that acts to accelerate the tennis ball. What are the forces? In which direction do they act? On what does each force at?
  • Draw a free body diagram of the tennis ball. In which direction is the net force on the tennis ball? Predict what will happen to the tennis ball and racket, using Newton’s Laws.

[15 min] Scenario 2: Ron Weasley — Quidditch

[12 min total, 7 min to think-pair-share, 5 min for discussion]

Quidditch keeper Ron Weasley blocks a quaffle coming in from the left of the image.

  • Describe the action-reaction force pair that acts to block the quaffle at the time of impact. What are the forces? In which direction do they act? On what does each force at?
  • Draw the FBD for the quaffle and the FBD for Ron. In which direction is the net force and acceleration for the quaffle? What about for Ron?
  • Which will accelerate more, the quaffle or Ron? If Ron and the quaffle both experience an equal force from the impact, why are their accelerations different?

 

[7 min] Exit Ticket

How can you tell if two forces are an action-reaction pair according to Newton’s 3rd Law?

An archery target stops an arrow on impact. The arrow experiences high acceleration to go from a fast speed to at-rest very quickly. Do the arrow and the target experience the same force from the impact? Do the arrow and the target experience the same acceleration? Why or why not?

64 min total:  ~1 min of buffer

Pacing: If necessary due to unexpected time constraint, one of the scenarios can be cut out and the other extended slightly.




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