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This inquiry-based lesson provides an introduction to waves by using water waves to explore patterns of amplitude, wavelength, and frequency. Students will investigate water waves in slow motion.
This lesson results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.
Scientific and Engineering Practices: developing and using models
Crosscutting Concepts: patterns
Primary Learning Objective(s):
Additional Learning Objective(s):
31 to 60 Minutes
Materials and Resources:
Per group of four students:
Technology Resources Needed:
Tablet with video capability in slow motion (one per group)
Video clip of waves in deep water (or any video clip of a wave in deep water)
Guide a class discussion using the following questions:
Students will draw a model of a wave in their science notebooks labeling amplitude and wavelength.
Repeat the above experiment using a marble instead of a drop of water. Students should drop the marble from 3 and 12 inches, and then compare the slow motion videos of the drop of water and the marble.
This is an introductory lesson so ongoing formative assessment should take place throughout the student discussion time.
The science notebook answers and drawings can be used as an assessment to ensure the standard has been met.
Here is another formative assessment that can be used:
Students will answer the following questions in their science notebook: What causes the ripples in a lake when a rock is thrown into the lake? What will happen to the ripples if a larger rock is thrown?
Provide students with a variety of objects that they could test using the procedures from the Elaborate portion of the lesson (penny, nail, golf ball, etc.).
It may be helpful to preview the vocabulary that will come up in the lesson. Providing the terms on cards would help them to visualize the word as they hear you say it during the lesson (amplitude, wavelength, and frequency).
Students may also draw what they see instead of writing to answer the discussion questions.