Speed, velocity and acceleration are few topics in physics that are often confusing. I have taught this subject for several years and students use these terms interchangeably. One of my favorite activities to resolve this problem is by using a task cards activity.
A task card is precisely what it sounds like – a card with a written task on it. They are very effective and highly engaging teaching tool that can be used in any subject area. They come in sets which may be a series of tasks, activities, or questions that targets a specific skill or topic on a particular subject area. Each page consists of at least four task cards. If you want to know about how to use task card in your class, you may find my blog post 15 ways to use task cards in the science classroom useful.
On the motion task cards I chose to have several situations for my students to differentiate between speed, velocity, and acceleration. I made sure the situations are real to help my students use their thought process and distinguish between the speed, velocity, and acceleration. This set includes 40 task cards of which mostly are real life examples of motion. I presented the cards either in sentences or simple and short phrases. There is also a part in the middle of the task cards where my students are asked to define speed, velocity and acceleration. I also ask them to give one example for each. I have also included differentiating speed and velocity in my task cards since students often have misconceptions about each of those terms.
There are several ways on how to use the speed, velocity and acceleration task cards. It really depends on the teacher and the capability of the students. They can be used in station labs, small groups, whole class activity, or individual.
Here are some ideas on where you can use these task cards.
- Use them as a pre-assessment activity. In my case, I used them to evaluate students’ perception about the topic. I can consider the way I will teach it with the way my students answered it.
- Second, I tried using it as an enrichment activity to deepen my students’ knowledge and understanding about motion.
- Third is as an assessment tool where I can measure how much my students have learned after our discussion.
- Lastly, it can be a homework or take home activity, either individual or by group, where my students can contemplate and recall the previous discussions.
You can download the task card set from my store. This product includes 10 pages of task cards (4 cards on each page), student data sheet (where the students will write their answers) and a key for the teacher.