Lesson Plan – Teaching Strategies using Table Tennis Balls

teaching strategiesIn this activity, you use teaching strategies to investigate the relationship between drop height and bounce height.

It is a great activity for relief teaching gigs but it does take a little preparation.

However, this is a great strategy to use for chatty classes - particularly boys.

Teaching Strategies - Steps


Step 1 
  • Using cardboard strips, students must construct their own 1m ruler or measure. As far as teaching strategies go, this is a time-consuming but worthwhile activity. It really enables kids to understand rulers, at least. I bought a couple of sewing tape measures just in case the kid's rulers didn't work out.
Step 2
  • Students prepare a data table like the following in 5cm intervals up to 100cm.

Drop Height
Bounce Height

Step 3.
  • Students work in groups of 3 - 4. 
  • One holds the ruler, one drops the tennis ball from the height, two watch the bounce height. You really need two eyes for accuracy purposes but you can manage with one. When there is difference, moderate the results by averaging the two numbers. When using this during relief teaching gigs, I demonstrate the process and the averaging process. 
  • Everyone records the data. Ownership is one of those important teaching strategies that keep kids focused. If you are using investigations when relief teaching make it clear to all the kids that they must all keep data records. Even when using groups, it is important that kids have individual responsibility.

Step 4.
Chart the data like below. (obviously results will vary)

Step 5.
Discuss the formula Drop Height = Bounce Height X ? 
This is the hardest of all the teaching strategies used in this activity.
It may be easier to find the answer to x = Drop Height/Bounce Height.

Teaching Strategies - Have a go!

Make no mistake. This is a little noisy activity.
Kids get chatty but I have always found that talk is task related.
Teaching strategies like this take a little preparation but are such a valuable learning experience for students.