wNetSchool HomeThe Practical Web Service for K-12 TeacherswNetStation
WNET Educational Initiatives
Instructional Television
Lesson Plan Database
NTTI    

YOU'RE THE COACH!
Grades 6 - 8

Overview

Math and science come together in an exciting way when students investigate the part math and science play in sports. The students see how a track coach uses the concepts of velocity, angles, and parabolics to improve Jackie Joyner-Kersee's long jump record. Students experiment using protractors, meter sticks and rubber bands to propel an "Olympian". They explore how varying the "Olympian's" velocity (pulling the rubber band back farther) and the "Olympian's" trajectory (changing the angle the rubber band is shot at) affects the distance the "Olympian" travels. The students record their results and report their recommendations to the Track and Field Association of the United States of America in written, oral, and graph form.
ITV Series
"FUTURES, with Jaime Escalante, "Sports Performance" program."
Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
Materials
1 per group of 3-4 students:
1 per student:
Pre-Viewing Activities
Draw an angle on the overhead, and ask students to, "Estimate the measurement of this angle." Students discuss their estimates. Next, demonstrate how to measure the angle using a protractor. The class discusses how close their estimates are to the actual measurement. Direct students to, "Please work with your partner and draw an approximation of 20°, 40°, 60°, and 90° angles (without the aid of a protractor)". Groups show the angles they drew to each other and discuss the accuracy of the estimations. Next, pass out protractors to each group and asks students to, "Check the accuracy of the angles you drew with a protractor." Discuss as a class easy ways to remember the approximate size of the angles.

Working together in small groups, students go on an "angle hunt" around the school to find angles that are 20°, 40°, 60°, and 90°. Students may use cameras, tracing paper, or camcorders to record the angles they find. After the "angle hunt", discuss as a class the results of the investigation.

Say to the class,"How do you think math and science are used in different sports?" Ask a student to record the classes' responses on the overhead. Say to the class, "Does anyone know who Jackie Joyner-Kersee is?" Discuss that Jackie Joyner-Kersee is an Olympic gold medalist in track.
Focus Viewing
To give students specific responsibility while viewing, introduce the video with the following instructions, "Watch carefully how Jackie Joyner-Kersee and her coach use math and science to improve her performance in track. Record any math or science terms you hear during the video in your journals."

Viewing Activities
BEGIN the tape immediately following the bike segment, when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says, "So you can see mathematics is useful in performance and the other aspects of sports, the total picture of sporting life is affected by mathematics. In fact, I have a friend who happens to be an expert in seven different sports." Speak over the video to remind students to record any math or science terms they hear.

PAUSE the tape for discussion of terms, immediately following the segment when the coach says, "I have to go teach Jackie to jump twenty-five feet, odd number, so thank you for having us." Discuss with the class what math and science terms they recorded. Ask the class, "What is the purpose of the long jump?" Discuss that the purpose of the event is to jump the greatest distance, and that the athlete needs to have speed. Also discuss what affect gravity might have on the distance jumped.

To reinforce a concept, rewind the tape to the part right after the coach is introduced and shakes hands with Jaime Escalante. Say to the class, "Let's take another look at Jackie Joyner-Kersee performing the long jump. Listen again while her coach specifically speaks about what math and science concepts are used in the long jump. See if there is anything to add to our list."

RESUME the tape through the segment when her coach says, "As Jackie's coach, I try to really teach her about the mathematics of track and field. When Jackie long jumps, we have to figure out what her velocity is going to be down the runway, and when she hits the board, what is her trajectory to give her the maximum parabolics so she can land the furthest in the sand". Talk over the video, reinforcing the terms velocity, trajectory, and parabolics.

STOP the tape immediately following the long jump, to allow time for students to develop definitions of the terms velocity, trajectory and parabolics. Ask the students, "What does the coach mean by the terms velocity, trajectory, and parabolics?" Using dictionaries and math and science books, direct students to work in groups to define the terms, velocity, trajectory, and parabolics. Ask each group to safely demonstrate what the terms mean (they can draw pictures, act out the term, or come up with their own creative interpretation.) The class will make predictions about what effect velocity and the angle of the trajectory will have on the distance an object is propelled.
Post-Viewing Activities
The class will test its predictions about what effect velocity and the angle of the trajectory will have on the distance an object is propelled, (or the distance an athlete jumps the long jump). Working in groups of three or four, students will investigate the relationship between the distance an object is propelled, the amount of velocity it is propelled at, and the angle of the trajectory.

Each group will use a meter stick, rubber band, and protractor. Wearing safety glasses, students will stretch the rubber band over one end of the yard stick, load the "Olympian" into the other end, and release the rubber band. Students will vary the velocity by pulling the rubber band back distances of 3", 6", 9", and 12". The students will measure the distance the "Olympian" travels each time and record the results. Groups will predict the angle of trajectory, and the amount of velocity that will propel the "Olympian" the greatest distance.

Students will experiment to discover which variables make the "Olympian" travel the farthest. They will investigate how varying the speed of the "Olympian", (the velocity, which is demonstrated by pulling the rubber band back different distances), and varying the trajectory, (changing the angle of the meter stick using a protractor) affects the distance the "Olympian" travels.

Students will use the worksheet, "You're the Coach", to record the results of their investigations. The students will graph the results of their experiments. The groups will analyze the graphs and interpret the results in a written report describing the combination of angle and force that propelled the "Olympian" the farthest.
Action Plan
Students test their theories developed during the post-viewing activities outside on a real track, using real people as the "Olympians". Student "coaches" will guide the student "Olympians", using protractors to direct the angle of the jump. Students will write letters which report the results of their experiment to the Track and Field Association of the United States of America.

Students will (under the supervision of the physical education teacher) hold track clinics, sharing the results of their experiments, and make a training video.
Extensions
Mathematics
Use computer programs to explore weight and force. Investigate how trajectories are used in the military. Investigate how other sports use math and science. Investigate the relationship between distance, rate, and time. Perform each experiment at least twice, record the mean.

Science
Research sports injuries. Investigate mass by using different weights in the rubber band. Investigate the relationship between mass, force and acceleration.

Language Arts
Write the "Sports Trainer" newsletter. Read biographies about sports "greats". Write a play about a sports trainer and an athlete.

Social Studies
Research sports throughout history. Investigate how math and science were used. Develop a historical time line about sports.


Resources
The FASE Production, FUTURES, with Jaime Escalante, "Sports Performance" segment. The production also contains vignettes which demonstrate the mathematics used in skate boarding, basketball, and bicycling.

Michael Serra. Discovering Geometry, Key Curriculum Press, Berkeley California, 1993.

Green, Carl R. Jackie Joyner-Kersee, New York, Crestwood House, 1994.

Thompson Donnis H. Modern Track and Field for Girls, Allyn and Bacon, Inc. 1973.

Computer program, Conquering Ratios and Proportions: Catapult, Program No. 209, MECC, Denver Public Schools, 1989.

Computer program, Artillery (Projectile Motion Simulation), Kirk Crawford, 1987.

Master Teacher:Diane Weaver

Worksheet
Click here to view the worksheet associated with this lesson.

Top of lesson


Lesson Plan Database
NTTI
Thirteen Ed Online
wNetStation