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Instructional Focus Document
Physics
TITLE : Unit 04: Universal Gravitation SUGGESTED DURATION : 5 days

Unit Overview

During this Unit

This unit focuses on the fundamental force of gravity. Students describe the concept of gravitational force and the effects that distance and mass have on the magnitude of gravitational force. Students perform calculations of gravitational force in given scenarios using the appropriate formula and universal gravitational constant provided.

 

Streamlining Note

The student expectation in TEKS P.5A changed during the streamlining process. Students no longer research the historical development of the force concepts. Now students are only expected to describe the force concepts.

 

Prior Content Connections

  • Grade
    • 6.11B – Understand that gravity is the force that governs the motion of our solar system.
  • Integrated Physics and Chemistry
    • I.4F – Describe the gravitational attraction between objects of different masses at different distances.

 

After this Unit

Students will recognize gravitational force and its effects on our planet, in our solar system, and in our universe.

 

According to Research

“By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that:

  • Science is based on the assumption that the universe is a vast single system in which the basic rules are the same everywhere and that the things and events in the universe occur in consistent patterns that are comprehensible through careful, systematic study.”

American Association for the Advancement of Science. (1993). Benchmarks on-line. Retrieved from http://www.project2061.org/publications/bsl/online/bolintro.htm.


Scientists investigate natural phenomena in order to understand and explain each phenomenon in terms of systems.

  • How are the properties of systems and their components related to their classification?
  • How are the components, processes, and / or patterns of systems interrelated?

 

Scientific investigation is an orderly process to ensure that scientific claims are credible.

  • Why is credibility so important in the scientific field?
  • How is scientific knowledge generated and validated?

 

Data is systematically collected, organized, and analyzed in terms of patterns and relationships to develop reasonable explanations and make predictions.

  • What gives meaning to data?
  • What is the value of observing patterns and relationships in data?

 

Scientists analyze, evaluate, and critique each other’s work using principles of scientific investigations in order to build on one another’s ideas through new investigations.

  • How can we know what to believe about a scientific claim?
Unit Understandings
and Questions
Overarching Concepts
and Unit Concepts
Performance Assessment(s)

All matter in the universe is attracted to all other matter in the universe by the force of gravity, which depends on mass and distance.

  • Why do all types of objects exert a gravitational force on other objects? 
  • In what ways can gravity be increased between two objects?
  • How can the magnitude of the gravitational force between two objects be calculated and expressed?
  • What is the historical development of the universal law of gravitation?

Systems

  • Force

 

Classifications

  • Gravity

 

Properties

  • Mass
  • Distance

 

Patterns

  • Gravity-mass relationship
  • Gravity-distance relationship

 

Constancy

  • Universal gravitational constant

 

Change

  • Unit concept
Assessment information provided within the TEKS Resource System are examples that may, or may not, be used by your child’s teacher. In accordance with section 26.006 (2) of the Texas Education Code, "A parent is entitled to review each test administered to the parent’s child after the test is administered." For more information regarding assessments administered to your child, please visit with your child’s teacher.

MISCONCEPTIONS / UNDERDEVELOPED CONCEPTS

Misconceptions:

  • Students may think gravity is the strongest fundamental force.
  • Students may think gravitational force is the same on all falling bodies.
  • Students may think gravitational force acts on one object at a time.
  • Students may think only large objects have a gravitational force.

Unit Vocabulary

Key Content Vocabulary:

  • Gravitation – the mutual attraction between any two objects with mass
  • Universal Gravitational Constant – the universal constant relating force to mass and distance based on Newton's law of gravitation

 

Related Vocabulary:

  • Albert Einstein
  • Compared with
  • Development
  • Exert
  • Inverse Square Law
  • Isaac Newton
  • Lunar
  • Magnitude
  • Mass
  • Mean
  • Orbit
  • Satellite
Unit Assessment Items System Resources Other Resources

Show this message:

Unit Assessment Items that have been published by your district may be accessed through Search All Components in the District Resources tab. Assessment items may also be found using the Assessment Center if your district has granted access to that tool.

System Resources may be accessed through Search All Components in the District Resources Tab.

State:

Texas Education Agency – Texas Safety Standards

http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=5483 (look under Documents)

 

Texas Gateway for Online Resources by TEA – OnTRACK Scientific Process Skills

https://www.texasgateway.org/binder/ontrack-scientific-process-skills


TAUGHT DIRECTLY TEKS

TEKS intended to be explicitly taught in this unit.

TEKS/SE Legend:

  • Knowledge and Skills Statements (TEKS) identified by TEA are in italicized, bolded, black text.
  • Student Expectations (TEKS) identified by TEA are in bolded, black text.
  • Portions of the Student Expectations (TEKS) that are not included in this unit but are taught in previous or future units are indicated by a strike-through.

Specificity Legend:

  • Supporting information / clarifications (specificity) written by TEKS Resource System are in blue text.
  • Unit-specific clarifications are in italicized, blue text.
  • Information from Texas Education Agency (TEA), Texas College and Career Readiness Standards (TxCCRS), and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Project 2061 is labeled.
  • A Partial Specificity label indicates that a portion of the specificity not aligned to this unit has been removed.
TEKS# SE# TEKS SPECIFICITY
P.2 Scientific processes. The student uses a systematic approach to answer scientific laboratory and field investigative questions. The student is expected to:
P.2C Know that scientific theories are based on natural and physical phenomena and are capable of being tested by multiple independent researchers. Unlike hypotheses, scientific theories are well established and highly reliable explanations, but may be subject to change.

Know

SCIENTIFIC THEORIES ARE BASED ON NATURAL AND PHYSICAL PHENOMENA AND ARE CAPABLE OF BEING TESTED BY MULTIPLE INDEPENDENT RESEARCHERS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Based on natural and physical phenomena
  • Capable of being tested by multiple independent researchers
  • Well established, highly reliable explanations
  • Subject to change as new areas or science and new technologies are developed

Note(s):

  • TxCCRS:
    • I. Nature of Science – A2 – Use creativity and insight to recognize and describe patterns in natural phenomena.
    • I. Nature of Science – A4 – Rely on reproducible observations of empirical evidence when constructing, analyzing, and evaluating explanations of natural events and processes.
P.2D Design and implement investigative procedures, including making observations, asking well defined questions, formulating testable hypotheses, identifying variables, selecting appropriate equipment and technology, evaluating numerical answers for reasonableness, and identifying causes and effects of uncertainties in measured data.

Design, Implement

INVESTIGATIVE PROCEDURES

Including, but not limited to:

  • Making observations
  • Asking well-defined questions
  • Formulating testable hypotheses
  • Identifying variables
  • Selecting appropriate equipment and technology
  • Evaluating numerical answers for reasonableness
  • Identifying causes and effects of uncertainties in measured data
    • Instrument errors
    • Reading errors
    • User errors

Note(s):

  • TxCCRS:
    • I. Nature of Science – A3 – Formulate appropriate questions to test understanding of natural phenomena. 
P.2E

Demonstrate the use of course apparatus, equipment, techniques, and procedures, including multimeters (current, voltage, resistance), balances, batteries, dynamics demonstration equipment, collision apparatus, lab masses, magnets, plane mirrors, convex lenses, stopwatches, trajectory apparatus, graph paper, magnetic compasses, protractors, metric rulers, spring scales, thermometers, slinky springs, and/or other equipment and materials that will produce the same results.

Demonstrate

THE USE OF COURSE APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT, TECHNIQUES, AND PROCEDURES

Including, but not limited to:

  • Graph paper
P.2F

Use a wide variety of additional course apparatus, equipment, techniques, materials, and procedures as appropriate such as ripple tank with wave generator, wave motion rope, tuning forks, hand-held visual spectroscopes, discharge tubes with power supply (H, He, Ne, Ar), electromagnetic spectrum charts, laser pointers, micrometer, caliper, computer, data acquisition probes, scientific calculators, graphing technology, electrostatics kits, electroscope, inclined plane, optics bench, optics kit, polarized film, prisms, pulley with table clamp, motion detectors, photogates, friction blocks, ballistic carts or equivalent, resonance tube, stroboscope, resistors, copper wire, switches, iron filings, and/or other equipment and materials that will produce the same results.

Use

A WIDE VARIETY OF ADDITIONAL COURSE APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT, TECHNIQUES, MATERIALS, AND PROCEDURES AS APPROPRIATE

Including, but not limited to:

  • Computer
  • Scientific calculators
P.2H Organize, evaluate, and make inferences from data, including the use of tables, charts, and graphs.

Organize, Evaluate, Make inferences

DATA

Including, but not limited to:

  • Tables
  • Charts
  • Graphs

Note(s):

  • TxCCRS:
    • I. Nature of Science – E1 – Use several modes of expression to describe or characterize natural patterns and phenomena. These modes of expression include narrative, numerical, graphical, pictorial, symbolic, and kinesthetic.
P.2I Communicate valid conclusions supported by the data through various methods such as lab reports, labeled drawings, graphic organizers, journals, summaries, oral reports, and technology-based reports.

Communicate

VALID CONCLUSIONS SUPPORTED BY THE DATA

Including, but not limited to:

  • Lab reports
  • Labeled drawings
  • Graphic organizers
  • Journals (science notebooks)
  • Summaries
  • Oral reports
  • Technology-based reports 

Note(s):

  • TxCCRS:
    • III. Foundation Skills: Scientific Applications of Communication – A1 – Use correct applications of writing practices in scientific communication.
P.2J Express relationships among physical variables quantitatively, including the use of graphs, charts, and equations.

Express

RELATIONSHIPS AMONG PHYSICAL VARIABLES QUANTITATIVELY

Including, but not limited to:

  • Graphs
  • Charts
  • Equations

Note(s):

  • TxCCRS:
    • II. Foundation Skills: Scientific Applications of Mathematics – 2B – Carry out formal operations using standard algebraic symbols and formulae.
    • VIII. Physics – A4 – Understand the concept of density.
P.3 Scientific processes. The student uses critical thinking, scientific reasoning, and problem solving to make informed decisions within and outside the classroom. The student is expected to:
P.3A Analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student.

Analyze, Evaluate, Critique

SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATIONS, SO AS TO ENCOURAGE CRITICAL THINKING BY THE STUDENT

Including, but not limited to:

  • Use
    • Empirical evidence
    • Logical reasoning
    • Experimental and observational testing

Note(s):

  • Project 2061: By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that:
    • Scientific knowledge is subject to modification as new information challenges prevailing theories and as a new theory leads to looking at old observations in a new way. 1A/M2
    • Some scientific knowledge is very old and yet is still applicable today. 1A/M3
    • Scientific investigations usually involve the collection of relevant data, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the collected data. 1B/M1b*
    • If more than one variable changes at the same time in an experiment, the outcome of the experiment may not be clearly attributable to any one variable. It may not always be possible to prevent outside variables from influencing an investigation (or even to identify all of the variables). 1B/M2ab
  • Project 2061: By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that:
    • From time to time, major shifts occur in the scientific view of how things work. More often, however, the changes that take place in the body of scientific knowledge are small modifications of prior knowledge. Continuity and change are persistent features of science. 1A/H2
  • TxCCRS:
    • I. Nature of Science – A1 – Utilize skepticism, logic, and professional ethics in science.
    • I. Nature of Science – A4 – Rely on reproducible observations of empirical evidence when constructing, analyzing, and evaluating explanations of natural events and processes.
P.3B Communicate and apply scientific information extracted from various sources such as current events, news reports, published journal articles, and marketing materials.

Communicate, Apply

SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION EXTRACTED FROM VARIOUS SOURCES

Including, but not limited to:

  • Current events
  • News reports
  • Published journal articles
  • Marketing materials
P.3C Explain the impacts of the scientific contributions of a variety of historical and contemporary scientists on scientific thought and society.

Explain

THE IMPACTS OF SCIENTIFIC CONTRIBUTIONS ON SCIENTIFIC THOUGHT AND SOCIETY

Including, but not limited to:

  • Historical and contemporary scientists
    • Newton
    • Einstein
    • Galileo
    • Maxwell
    • Coulomb
    • Ørsted
    • Ampere
    • Faraday
    • Lenz
P.3E Express, manipulate, and interpret relationships symbolically in accordance with accepted theories to make predictions and solve problems mathematically.

Express, Manipulate, Interpret

RELATIONSHIPS SYMBOLICALLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH ACCEPTED THEORIES

Including, but not limited to:

  • Make predictions
  • Solve problems mathematically
    • Manipulation of equations algebraically
    • Proportional reasoning

Note(s):

  • TxCCRS:
    • VIII. Physics – B1 – Understand how vectors are used to represent physical quantities.
    • VIII. Physics – B2 – Demonstrate knowledge of vector mathematics using a graphical representation.
    • VIII. Physics – B3 – Demonstrate knowledge of vector mathematics using a numerical representation.
P.5 Science concepts. The student knows the nature of forces in the physical world. The student is expected to:
P.5A

Describe the concepts of gravitational, electromagnetic, weak nuclear, and strong nuclear forces.

Describe

THE CONCEPTS OF GRAVITATIONAL, ELECTROMAGNETIC, WEAK NUCLEAR, AND STRONG NUCLEAR FORCES

Including, but not limited to:

  • Gravitational forces
    • Newton’s proportionality between mass, gravity, and distance
    • Universal gravitational constant
    • General relativity [Possible pre-AP extension]

Note(s):

  • TxCCRS:
    • VIII. Physics – C2 – Understand forces and Newton’s laws.
P.5B Describe and calculate how the magnitude of the gravitational force between two objects depends on their masses and the distance between their centers.

Describe, Calculate

HOW THE MAGNITUDE OF THE GRAVITATIONAL FORCE BETWEEN TWO OBJECTS DEPENDS ON THEIR MASSES AND THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THEIR CENTERS

Including, but not limited to:

  • The law of universal gravitation
    • Fg = G (m1m2 / d2)
    • Force of gravitational attraction between two objects = [(universal gravitation constant)(mass of 1st object)(mass of 2nd object)] / [(distance between centers of objects)2]
  • Universal gravitation constant
    • G = 6.67 x 10-11  N ∙ m2 / kg2
  • Masses
    • Distance between their centers
  • Describe in words the relationship between force and distance
  • Describe in words the relationship between force and mass
  • The relationship between gravitational force and weight (TxCCRS)

Note(s):

  • The STAAR Physics Reference Materials include the formula for the force of gravitational attraction between two objects as listed above.
  • Students in Grade 6 study gravity as the force that controls the motion of the components of our solar system (6.11B).
  • TxCCRS:
    • VIII. Physics – A5 – Understand the concepts of gravitational force and weight.
The English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS), as required by 19 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 74, Subchapter A, §74.4, outline English language proficiency level descriptors and student expectations for English language learners (ELLs). School districts are required to implement ELPS as an integral part of each subject in the required curriculum.

School districts shall provide instruction in the knowledge and skills of the foundation and enrichment curriculum in a manner that is linguistically accommodated commensurate with the student’s levels of English language proficiency to ensure that the student learns the knowledge and skills in the required curriculum.


School districts shall provide content-based instruction including the cross-curricular second language acquisition essential knowledge and skills in subsection (c) of the ELPS in a manner that is linguistically accommodated to help the student acquire English language proficiency.

http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter074/ch074a.html#74.4 


Choose appropriate ELPS to support instruction.

ELPS# Subsection C: Cross-curricular second language acquisition essential knowledge and skills.
Click here to collapse or expand this section.
ELPS.c.1 The ELL uses language learning strategies to develop an awareness of his or her own learning processes in all content areas. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.1A use prior knowledge and experiences to understand meanings in English
ELPS.c.1B monitor oral and written language production and employ self-corrective techniques or other resources
ELPS.c.1C use strategic learning techniques such as concept mapping, drawing, memorizing, comparing, contrasting, and reviewing to acquire basic and grade-level vocabulary
ELPS.c.1D speak using learning strategies such as requesting assistance, employing non-verbal cues, and using synonyms and circumlocution (conveying ideas by defining or describing when exact English words are not known)
ELPS.c.1E internalize new basic and academic language by using and reusing it in meaningful ways in speaking and writing activities that build concept and language attainment
ELPS.c.1F use accessible language and learn new and essential language in the process
ELPS.c.1G demonstrate an increasing ability to distinguish between formal and informal English and an increasing knowledge of when to use each one commensurate with grade-level learning expectations
ELPS.c.1H develop and expand repertoire of learning strategies such as reasoning inductively or deductively, looking for patterns in language, and analyzing sayings and expressions commensurate with grade-level learning expectations.
ELPS.c.2 The ELL listens to a variety of speakers including teachers, peers, and electronic media to gain an increasing level of comprehension of newly acquired language in all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in listening. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.2A distinguish sounds and intonation patterns of English with increasing ease
ELPS.c.2B recognize elements of the English sound system in newly acquired vocabulary such as long and short vowels, silent letters, and consonant clusters
ELPS.c.2C learn new language structures, expressions, and basic and academic vocabulary heard during classroom instruction and interactions
ELPS.c.2D monitor understanding of spoken language during classroom instruction and interactions and seek clarification as needed
ELPS.c.2E use visual, contextual, and linguistic support to enhance and confirm understanding of increasingly complex and elaborated spoken language
ELPS.c.2F listen to and derive meaning from a variety of media such as audio tape, video, DVD, and CD ROM to build and reinforce concept and language attainment
ELPS.c.2G understand the general meaning, main points, and important details of spoken language ranging from situations in which topics, language, and contexts are familiar to unfamiliar
ELPS.c.2H understand implicit ideas and information in increasingly complex spoken language commensurate with grade-level learning expectations
ELPS.c.2I demonstrate listening comprehension of increasingly complex spoken English by following directions, retelling or summarizing spoken messages, responding to questions and requests, collaborating with peers, and taking notes commensurate with content and grade-level needs.
ELPS.c.3 The ELL speaks in a variety of modes for a variety of purposes with an awareness of different language registers (formal/informal) using vocabulary with increasing fluency and accuracy in language arts and all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in speaking. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.3A practice producing sounds of newly acquired vocabulary such as long and short vowels, silent letters, and consonant clusters to pronounce English words in a manner that is increasingly comprehensible
ELPS.c.3B expand and internalize initial English vocabulary by learning and using high-frequency English words necessary for identifying and describing people, places, and objects, by retelling simple stories and basic information represented or supported by pictures, and by learning and using routine language needed for classroom communication
ELPS.c.3C speak using a variety of grammatical structures, sentence lengths, sentence types, and connecting words with increasing accuracy and ease as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.3D speak using grade-level content area vocabulary in context to internalize new English words and build academic language proficiency
ELPS.c.3E share information in cooperative learning interactions
ELPS.c.3F ask and give information ranging from using a very limited bank of high-frequency, high-need, concrete vocabulary, including key words and expressions needed for basic communication in academic and social contexts, to using abstract and content-based vocabulary during extended speaking assignments
ELPS.c.3G express opinions, ideas, and feelings ranging from communicating single words and short phrases to participating in extended discussions on a variety of social and grade-appropriate academic topics
ELPS.c.3H narrate, describe, and explain with increasing specificity and detail as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.3I adapt spoken language appropriately for formal and informal purposes
ELPS.c.3J respond orally to information presented in a wide variety of print, electronic, audio, and visual media to build and reinforce concept and language attainment.
ELPS.c.4 The ELL reads a variety of texts for a variety of purposes with an increasing level of comprehension in all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in reading. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. For Kindergarten and Grade 1, certain of these student expectations apply to text read aloud for students not yet at the stage of decoding written text. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.4A learn relationships between sounds and letters of the English language and decode (sound out) words using a combination of skills such as recognizing sound-letter relationships and identifying cognates, affixes, roots, and base words
ELPS.c.4B recognize directionality of English reading such as left to right and top to bottom
ELPS.c.4C develop basic sight vocabulary, derive meaning of environmental print, and comprehend English vocabulary and language structures used routinely in written classroom materials
ELPS.c.4D use prereading supports such as graphic organizers, illustrations, and pretaught topic-related vocabulary and other prereading activities to enhance comprehension of written text
ELPS.c.4E read linguistically accommodated content area material with a decreasing need for linguistic accommodations as more English is learned
ELPS.c.4F use visual and contextual support and support from peers and teachers to read grade-appropriate content area text, enhance and confirm understanding, and develop vocabulary, grasp of language structures, and background knowledge needed to comprehend increasingly challenging language
ELPS.c.4G demonstrate comprehension of increasingly complex English by participating in shared reading, retelling or summarizing material, responding to questions, and taking notes commensurate with content area and grade level needs
ELPS.c.4H read silently with increasing ease and comprehension for longer periods
ELPS.c.4I demonstrate English comprehension and expand reading skills by employing basic reading skills such as demonstrating understanding of supporting ideas and details in text and graphic sources, summarizing text, and distinguishing main ideas from details commensurate with content area needs
ELPS.c.4J demonstrate English comprehension and expand reading skills by employing inferential skills such as predicting, making connections between ideas, drawing inferences and conclusions from text and graphic sources, and finding supporting text evidence commensurate with content area needs
ELPS.c.4K demonstrate English comprehension and expand reading skills by employing analytical skills such as evaluating written information and performing critical analyses commensurate with content area and grade-level needs.
ELPS.c.5 The ELL writes in a variety of forms with increasing accuracy to effectively address a specific purpose and audience in all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in writing. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. For Kindergarten and Grade 1, certain of these student expectations do not apply until the student has reached the stage of generating original written text using a standard writing system. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.5A learn relationships between sounds and letters of the English language to represent sounds when writing in English
ELPS.c.5B write using newly acquired basic vocabulary and content-based grade-level vocabulary
ELPS.c.5C spell familiar English words with increasing accuracy, and employ English spelling patterns and rules with increasing accuracy as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.5D edit writing for standard grammar and usage, including subject-verb agreement, pronoun agreement, and appropriate verb tenses commensurate with grade-level expectations as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.5E employ increasingly complex grammatical structures in content area writing commensurate with grade-level expectations, such as:
ELPS.c.5F write using a variety of grade-appropriate sentence lengths, patterns, and connecting words to combine phrases, clauses, and sentences in increasingly accurate ways as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.5G narrate, describe, and explain with increasing specificity and detail to fulfill content area writing needs as more English is acquired.
Last Updated 11/27/2018
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