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Lesson Plan: Vector Quantities Mathematics

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to describe how vectors are used in mechanics to solve problems in two dimensions.

Objectives

Students will be able to

  • distinguish between a scalar and a vector,
  • understand that a vector has both magnitude and direction, especially that a vector with negative components still has a positive magnitude in the opposite direction,
  • recall important vector quantities: displacement, velocity, acceleration, and force and recall their corresponding scalar quantities, if applicable,
  • use both column and i, j notation to denote vectors in two dimensions,
  • calculate the magnitude and direction of a 2D vector using trigonometry.

Prerequisites

Students should already be familiar with

  • the Pythagorean theorem,
  • basic trigonometry (sine, cosine, and tangent),
  • vector addition and subtraction.

Exclusions

Students will not cover

  • vectors in three dimensions,
  • dot and cross product,
  • Newton’s laws of motion,
  • the equations of motion.

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