Newton's Three Laws

Materials: None

Time Allotment: 3 Class Days


This makeup lab is unique from most others in that it does not actually involve a laboratory exercise. Rather, this makeup lab involves the completion of a writing assignment which demonstrates your understanding of Newton's three laws and their applications.

The Assignment:

Newton's three laws are sometimes referred to as

Write a sentence or two about each law to describe what it says. Then express your understanding of the meaning of each of the three laws by describing several scenarios or real-world phenomena which illustrate each law. Include at least two scenarios/phenomena for each law (for a total of at least six). Explicitly explain how each scenario or phenomenon helps to illustrate one of Newton's law. Use complete sentences. Be clear, specific, and orgainized.


Your writing assignment/makeup lab will be assessed using the following scoring rubric.

1. Physics Understanding

Three laws are completely and accurately described; suitable scenario for illustrating each law is accurately described and explained.

0 - 5

May have failed to state each law or failed to give two applications of each law; demonstrated a questionable level of understanding by more than two major errors and/or omissions

6 - 7

Made a statement of each law and discussed two applications of each law; understanding level is suitable but not perfect as evidenced by one or two major errors and/or omissions


Made clear and accurate statement of each law;discussed two clever and correct applications of each law; demonstrated an excellent understanding by accurate and explicit explanations

2. Completeness

Completely described each law and provided an original application of each law.


On two or more instances, failed to provide a complete description or two accompanying applications


Failed to provide one complete description or two accompanying applications of each law


Provided complete descriptions and two applications for each of Newton's three laws

3. Writing Organization

Involves a logical/sequential flow of ideas; utilized sufficient transitions; easy to follow thought process.


A good example of linguistic gymnastics


Only a few mistakes


Very Good


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This page created by Tom Henderson and last updated on 11/16/98.