This unit is about Physics during a 24-hour period of any given day. The students this curriculum unit is presented to will discover and identify the many areas of physics and science they experience in an average 24-hour day. This unit will be developed for middle school students but could easily be modified to be presented to all students of ages and grades.
It should take an entire marking period for the story to fully develop. Each part of the 24-hour day will be given to a group of students to investigate and explore, hypothesize and predict, test and retest.
Other areas of the curriculum like reading, math, and art are included in this unit. I got the idea for this unit from the hit TV series “24” in which entire season of shows actually occurs in exactly 24 hours. Each show is exactly one hour long and is full of action, excitement, questions, mystery, and suspense. I cannot miss an episode, because so much would be missed that the show would not make sense. The same is true for the every day life of our students, but most of them don’t realize this. I trust this unit will get the students involved and interested in the everyday routine of their lives in a deeper way and to a greater degree.
As I talk to my students this year, it is obvious to me that many of them have forgotten the basic concepts presented and demonstrated earlier this year. It became clear that it was not because of lack of studying, which could be true in some cases, or the material being too difficult, which again could be true for some others, but time and again students were not able to connect concepts to their own lives.
One effective approach teachers use to engage their students in any subject or topic is by tapping into their prior knowledge. The key to this strategy is to allow students to choose the situation and then develop their own explanation for what happens and why it happens, using specific principles discussed in class.
Although physics is the primary focus of this unit, the very strong second focus of this unit will be to improve the reading, vocabulary, and comprehension levels of each student. Many strategies and exercises will be brought out and explained in the unit.
Note: Students should bring or be supplied with a science notebook and pencil or pen.