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Ride This Transverse Wave

Subject Area: Science

Grade Level(s): 8-12

Duration of Activity: Four to five, 50-minute class periods

Description of Activity:

Students will participate in four classroom experiments demonstrating the properties of transverse waves. Following these hands-on experiments, students will analyze online animations in groups of two to three in order to better understand what transverse waves are and how they function. Each group will present their assigned animations to the class, and a discussion will be held to determine which animation best explains the physical phenomenon of transverse waves.

Objectives: The students will

  • participate in four hands-on experiments demonstrating the properties of transverse waves.
  • discuss what they learned from the hands-on experiments as a class.
  • analyze an online animation of transverse waves and present the animation and their conclusions to the class.
  • reflect on what they have learned and record their thoughts on the lessons learned about transverse waves.

Materials/Equipment:

  • Computers with Internet access
  • 2 Slinky® toys
  • Small piece of yarn
  • 8-10 small paper cups
  • Clear, rectangular, plastic storage container, approximately 8-gallon size
  • Cookie sheet or other large, flat object that can be used to generate the transverse wave in the 8-gallon container
  • Net TV or large-screen monitor
  • Handout 1: Ride This Transverse Wave—Classroom Experiments
  • Handout 2: Task Cards for Transverse Wave Classroom Experiments (Teacher handout)
  • Handout 3: Analysis of Online Transverse Wave Animation
  • Handout 4: Rubric for Classroom Presentation of Transverse Wave Animation

Prerequisites (skills or background needed):

  • Students will need to know how to access specific Web sites using the Web site’s URL.
  • Multimedia computers with Flash, Shockwave, or other appropriate software will be required to view the Web site animations. Teachers will need to preview the selected sites in order to determine if the animations will run on the available computers.

Procedure

Teacher Component: The teacher will

  1. bookmark Web sites with online animations of transverse wave motion, or create a hot list of links for the students to use.
  2. assign the pages in the textbook related to transverse waves as a homework reading assignment.
  3. set up the four experiment stations in the lab or classroom.
  4. download and print out Handout 2: Task Cards for Transverse Wave Classroom Experiments.
  5. place the task cards at the appropriate stations. Laminating the cards will make them last longer.
  6. discuss transverse waves briefly before beginning the experiments.
  7. define transverse waves and review the general properties of these waves by showing the online animation Waves—Transverse / http://www.exploratorium.edu/xref/phenomena/waves_-_transverse.html
  8. divide the students into four groups to conduct the hands-on experiments.
  9. explain the procedure the students will use in completing the experiments and Handout 1: Ride This Transverse Wave—Classroom Experiments.
  10. demonstrate how the students will move the Slinky® in two of the experiments to eliminate any misunderstandings or unnecessary problems.
  11. allow class time for students to conduct the experiments and record their results on Handout 1: Ride This Transverse Wave—Classroom Experiments.
  12. lead a class discussion of how transverse waves act and how these experiments demonstrated that movement.
  13. divide the students into groups of two or three and assign one of the online transverse wave animations listed in the URLs component of this lesson plan for each group to review.
  14. allow class time for the students to review the animations and record their observations on Handout 3: Online Transverse Wave Animation.
  15. facilitate group presentations of the animations to the class.
  16. review the students’ findings and answer any remaining questions about transverse waves.

Student Activities: The students will

  1. read the assigned pages in the textbook related to transverse waves as a homework reading assignment.
  2. listen as the teacher discusses transverse waves briefly before beginning the four classroom experiments.
  3. observe the online animation Waves—Transverse / http://www.exploratorium.edu/xref/phenomena/waves_-_transverse.html as the teacher presents it to the class.
  4. divide into the four assigned groups to conduct the experiments.
  5. watch as the teacher explains the procedure to use in completing the experiments and Handout 1: Ride This Transverse Wave—Classroom Experiments
  6. conduct the experiments and record the results on Handout 1: Ride This Transverse Wave—Classroom Experiments.
  7. participate in a class discussion of how transverse waves act and how these experiments demonstrated that movement.
  8. divide into groups of two or three as assigned and review one of the online transverse wave animations listed in the URLs component of this lesson plan.
  9. review the animations and record all observations on Handout 3: Online Transverse Wave Animation.
  10. present the animations to the class.
  11. ask the teacher any remaining questions about transverse waves.

Accommodations:

  • Additional assistance will be given to students with fewer computer skills and knowledge.

Extension Activities:

  • A class vote can be taken regarding which animation is considered the best demonstration of transverse waves.
  • Students can research the different types of software needed for the creation and viewing of the animations used on Web sites.
  • Students can contact one of the creators of the online animations through e-mail and request information on how long it took to create the animation.

Integration:

  • Science
  • Technology

Assessments:

  1. Handout 1: Ride This Transverse Wave—Classroom Experiments
  2. Handout 3: Analysis of Online Transverse Wave Animation
  3. Handout 4: Rubric for Classroom Presentation of Transverse Wave Animation
  4. Teacher observation of classroom behaviors of students as they work in cooperative groups

URLs:

Curriculum Frameworks

Mississippi:

Eighth Grade

  1. Investigate the transfer of energy.

    1. Illustrate wave motion in different media.
    2. Analyze mechanical waves (sound waves, water waves, earthquake waves, etc.) and electromagnetic waves (light, infrared, x-rays, etc.).

Physical Science

  1. Discuss general properties and characteristics of waves. ( P )

    1. Differentiate among transverse, longitudinal, and surface waves.
    2. Examine the properties of waves (interference, refraction, reflection, diffraction , Doppler effect, etc.).

National Educational Technology Standards (NETS):

  1. Use content-specific tools, software and simulations (e.g., environmental probes, graphing calculators, exploratory environments, Web tools) to support learning and research. (3, 5)

TerraNova:

19 Physical Science (Level 11-21/22)
Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental concepts and principles of physical science. Apply physical science knowledge to investigations and real-world contexts.

Through text, diagrams, and drawing, provide explanations of investigations, and communicate results.

Link and Feedback to Author(s):

Michael Courtney, Coleman Middle School, Greenville, MS
miccou51@hotmail

Handout 1: Ride This Transverse Wave—Classroom Experiments Word Acrobat
Handout 2: Task Cards (Teacher handout) PowerPoint Acrobat
Handout 3: Analysis of Online Transverse Wave Animation Word Acrobat
Handout 4: Rubric for Classroom Presentation Word Acrobat
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