Displacement Time Graphs with Narratives

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for Motion


Displacement-Time Graph

Example



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Activity Overview


Distance and displacement are slightly different from each other. Distance is a scalar quantity that describes how much ground an object has covered. Displacement is a vector quantity that describes how far an object is from its starting position. A displacement-time graph normally puts displacement on the y-axis and time on the x-axis. Using S.I. units, displacement is measured in meters and time is measured in seconds.

In this activity, students will label displacement-time graphs and provide example scenarios. Students often get these confused with velocity-time graphs, so this activity will serve as both a way to introduce displacement-time graphs and serve as a visual reference for later!


Interpreting the Displacement-Time Graph

SectionDescriptionExample
AThe object is moving at a constant speed.Sandy is a park ranger. She is patrolling the park at a constant speed in her vehicle.
BThe object is stationary.She sees a goose in her way and stops to let it pass.
CThe object moving at a constant speed in the same direction as section A, but not as quickly.She continues again, but this time more slowly in case there are other animals.
DThe object is moving at a constant speed (more quickly than A and C), but in the opposite direction. There was another animal, but not a goose! She quickly turns her vehicle around to go back to the ranger station at a high speed.

As an extension, give your students a description of a journey and then have them create the graph themselves. This activity would also work if you got your students to label a velocity-time graph.



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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Label and interpret a distance time graph. Provide an example scenario to accompany it.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Label the axes, making sure you include units.
  3. Label each color section of the graph and explain what is happening to the object in the description box.
  4. Come up with a narrative scenario to match the relative velocities and direction of travel.
  5. Save and submit the assignment.
Displacement Template

Template


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