The Art of Physics by: Arlene Spevak

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The algebraic concepts and major ideas that govern Newton’s laws of motion can often be a challenge for the majority of ninth-grade students. Therefore, to make learning these concepts less task-oriented and more enjoyable, the author developed lessons that allow students to construct and express their understanding of these ideas through cartooning. This article describes cartooning as an alternative activity in high school physical science, where students are able to demonstrate understanding of Newton’s laws of motion through cooperative learning and differentiated instruction.

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Reviews (2)
  • on Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:28 AM

While not a unique approach, using cartoons can help students understand more complex concepts more easily. The author of this article provides the rules for the cartoon project for his students as well as a rubric for assessing it. He uses it as a nontraditional assessment that is equivalent to one test grade. Reading the article explains how he implements this activity as well as the benefits and challenges of using this approach. I think this idea is a unique approach to understanding Newton’s laws of motion.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:03 PM

This article talks about using cartooning to illustrate Newton's laws of motion. Students at the middle school level often have a difficult time learning about and understanding physics. In their mental development, many middle school students can recognize several variables at once, but are unable to conceptualize the abstractions associated with mass, force, inertia, and acceleration. This article provides a framework to introduce cartooning as an enhancement to the more formal methods of teaching. [A grading rubric is also included for this topic.] Cartooning also offers an alternative activity for the student to be able to demonstrate their understanding of Newton's laws of motion.

Sue Garcia
Sue Garcia

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