Education Technology

Rate of Change

Published on 07/19/2006

Activity Overview

Students will learn the definition of the derivative and that it can be used to determine the slope of a curve. (See "Before the Activity")

Before the Activity

The goal of the activity is to show the students that the derivative can also be used to determine the rate of change of one variable with respect to another. This is achieved by investigating the relationship between average and instantaneous velocity. Students will also learn the physical meaning of negative and positive rates of change.

See the attached Activity PDF file(s) for detailed instructions for this activity.

During the Activity

Follow the procedures outlined in the activity.

Students will:

  • Be able to understand and analyze the difference between average versus instantaneous rate of change.
  • After the Activity

  • Review student results
  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary