Online College Courses for Credit

Discovering the Derivative Lab

Discovering the Derivative Lab

Author: Beth Barsness
  1. To develop the definition of the derivative of a function at a point by examining the slope of the secant line
  2. To define the slope of a function at a point by zooming in on that point (geometrical)
  3. To define the slope of a function at a point numerically by using the NDERIV function on our graphing calculator
  4. To define the slope of a function analytically/algebraically by finding the limit as h approaches zero.

Students will find a derivative analytically and geometrically (using their graphing calculator - nderiv).  Students will have previously studied the concept of a limit. This lesson helps students to understand why we need to understand limits. It is a direct application of taking a limit.

Length of time needed: 5 class periods

This lesson was written by Lana Golembeski.

Return to the Ready Set Go MN website

See More

Try Our College Algebra Course. For FREE.

Sophia’s self-paced online courses are a great way to save time and money as you earn credits eligible for transfer to many different colleges and universities.*

Begin Free Trial
No credit card required

47 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

299 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 33 of Sophia’s online courses. Many different colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.


Lesson Plan

This lesson plan can be downloaded to your computer as a PDF document. If you would like to edit this document for your classroom needs, go to the "Handouts and Materials" section and click on the corresponding link.


Source: Lana Golembeski

Handouts and Materials

The following files can be downloaded to your computer:

Lesson Plan (Word document)

Discovering the Derivative Lab Worksheet (PDF document)

Source: Lana Golembeski