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Phase 2: Investigating to Build Foundation Knowledge

Learning That Works

Phase 2: Investigating to Build Foundation Knowledge

In Phase 2, project work establishes and reinforces underlying concepts and skills to meet content area requirements.

During an extended project, each subject area class addresses core content goals and standards in the context of roller coaster design. Students are presented with investigations and activities that establish underlying concepts and skills and meet content area standards. Students conduct experiments about force and the laws of motion in math and science, develop technical reading and writing in language arts, and build research skills in social studies. 

  • Phase 2 Science: Investigating Laws of Motion >
    Students set-up and complete several short exploratory investigations in small groups over two periods: four on inertia; two on force, mass, and acceleration; and three on action and reaction.

  • Phase 2 Math: Linear Equations >
    Students investigate linear equations and slope in lab activities from a published mathematics curriculum. They create a booklet of force and motion formulas to use in calculations of their roller coaster study.

  • Phase 2 Language Arts: Technical Reading and Descriptive Writing >
    Students use the SQ3R method to develop comprehension skill with technical reading on roller coaster-related topics.  They complete worksheets on significant ideas from the articles and portray them in an illustrated mini-poster. In preparation for writing a descriptive personal narrative, they practice identifying descriptive passages and writing about a location using all five senses.

  • Phase 2 Social Studies: Researching Recreation and Leisure >
    Students develop Internet research skills and build a database of useful roller coaster Web sites that they use through the unit.  They build a timeline of roller coaster events and developments and analyze the impact of historical events on leisure and recreation.

Phase 2: Investigating to Build Foundation Knowledge