Sunday, 10 March 2013

Usain Bolt

Lesson Topic: Speed
Class: Bottom Set Year 10's
Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Grab the attention of the class and make it a meaningful, productive and engaging lesson (oh, and survive!)
Oh, speed....I saw it on the curriculum map and was not looking forward to teaching it, especially with this class. It was bottom set year 10's and wracked my brain about how can I engage them, get them to see purpose and to complete work.

My first plan of attack was creating a hook. Enter Mr Usain Bolt. For those who don't know him, he is a Jamaican Sprinter who is regarded as the fastest person ever. I used his clip to introduce speed - what it looks like, what is the definition (the distance covered over time) and to make a real life link.

We used it as a platform to discuss what we saw and prior knowledge (it came out they did something in Science to do with speed). Some could recall the formula, but for others this really reinforced the idea of what the formula is and why it is so - they can visually see it - not to mention to add some suspense and excitement to the lesson.

It can extend to the idea of instantaneous speed and average speed. The speed of the take off versus the speed during the sprint. There's also another clip out there (but yet to find again) showing Usain in another race where he decelerates noticeable towards the end.

This lesson actually made a big impact. At the end of the term, many students, especially the boys, recalled this lesson  (along with doing the characteristic "Lightening Bolt" gesture) - don't ever underestimate the impact we have on our students.