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Students will classify waves as mechanical or electromagnetic. Students will describe longitudinal and transverse waves. Students will show a transverse wave using a slinky.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.
NSTA National Science Content Standard A for grades 5-8: As a result of activities in grades 5-8, all students should develop abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry. NSTA National Science Content Standard B for grades 5-8: As a result of their activities in grades 5-8, all students should develop an understanding of motions and forces. NSTA National Science Content Standard E for grades 5-8: As a result of activities in grades 5-8, all students should develop abilities of technological design.
Primary Learning Objective(s):
The students will physically demonstrate a transverse wave (a wave in which particles of the medium move in a direction perpendicular to the direction which the wave moves).
Additional Learning Objective(s):
Students will learn to work as a cooperative learning team.
31 to 60 Minutes
Materials and Resources:
*Slinky *Two students standing two to three meters apart.*Waves worksheet (see attached file "Name")
Technology Resources Needed:
Suggested website: Parts of a Wave
Waves come in many shapes and forms. While all waves share some basic characteristic properties and behaviors, some waves can be distinguished from others based on some very observable (and some non-observable) characteristics. It is common to categorize waves based on these distinguishing characteristics. One way to categorize waves is on the basis of the direction of movement of the individual particles of the medium relative to the direction which the waves travel. Categorizing waves on this basis leads to three notable categories: transverse waves, longitudinal waves, and surface waves. A transverse wave is a wave in which particles of the medium move in a direction perpendicular to the direction which the wave moves. If a slinky is stretched out in a horizontal direction across the classroom, and a pulse is introduced into the slinky on the left end by vibrating the first coil up and down, then energy will begin to be transported through the slinky from left to right. As the energy is transported from left to right, the individual coils of the medium will be displaced upwards and downwards. In this case, the particles of the medium move perpendicular to the direction which the pulse moves. This type of wave is a transverse wave. Transverse waves are always characterized by particle motion being perpendicular to wave motion. Waves traveling through a solid medium can be either transverse waves or longitudinal waves. Yet waves traveling through the bulk of a fluid (such as a liquid or a gas) are always longitudinal waves. Transverse waves require a relatively rigid medium in order to transmit their energy. As one particle begins to move it must be able to exert a pull on its nearest neighbor. If the medium is not rigid as is the case with fluids, the particles will slide past each other. This sliding action which is characteristic of liquids and gases prevents one particle from displacing its neighbor in a direction perpendicular to the energy transport. It is for this reason that only longitudinal waves are observed moving through the bulk of liquids such as our oceans. Earthquakes are capable of producing both transverse and longitudinal waves which travel through the solid structures of the Earth. When seismologists began to study earthquake waves they noticed that only longitudinal waves were capable of traveling through the core of the Earth. For this reason, geologists believe that the Earth's core consists of a liquid - most likely molten. The speed of a wave is determined by the medium carrying the wave.
The waves worksheet will be graded for accuracy. (see attached file "Name")
Have students draw a transverse wave and label the parts.
Have students compare their wave drawing with other students in the class. A separate grade can be assessed for this remediation.
Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom
for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading
or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at
a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with
short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions;
poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.