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        Determining Rates from Graphs

        Students learn about and practice calculating rates (positive, negative and zero) using data from graphs.

        Lesson Summary


        In this Cyberchase activity, students watch a video clip in which the CyberSquad examines graphs of Digit's locations over time. Digit is stowed away on Hacker's ship. When they discover that the ship is traveling too fast they realize Hacker has created portals throughout Cyberspace, a skill only Motherboard has. Students learn to calculate rates (positive, negative, and zero) using date from graphs.

        Why is this an important concept?

        Students learn to read distance time graphs and to derive basic information about rate from the graphs. All graphs involve constant speed.

        Grade Level:


        Suggested Time

        1 hour

        Media Resources

        Digit in Pursuit QuickTime Video


        Handout: Graphing Distance and Time, Calculating Rate
        Assessment: Level A
        Assessment: Level B
        Answer Key

        The Lesson

        Part I: Learning Activity

        1. Read the following to your students: "The CyberSquad discovers that when Hacker places statues in different locations, the power goes out. Digit stows away on Hacker's Ship and they track him using his ETD (Electronic Tracking Device). The tracking device allows them to plot graphs of Digit's locations over time and the graphs provide clues to what Hacker is scheming. Watch the video segment and be prepared to explain how the graphs provide the necessary clues."

        2. Play the Digit in Pursuit QuickTime Video.

        3. Distribute Handout: Graphing Distance and Time, Calculating Rate.

        4. Discuss the handout with students. Note: The handout discusses negative rates and also develops the beginning of the slope formula. To facilitate this, military time is used, so you will see 13:00 instead of 1:00 p.m.

        Part II: Assessment

        Assessment: Level A (proficiency): Students examine distance versus time graphs and identify the fastest and slowest rates.

        Assessment: Level B (above proficiency): Students examine distance versus time graphs and calculate rates for different slopes including negative and justify their answers.


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