Energatic Waves Of Energy

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					I.         Grade Level/Unit Number: Grade 6 Unit Six

II:        Unit Title:         Energetic Waves of Energy

III.       Unit Length:        5 weeks

IV.         Major Goals and Learning Outcomes:
          How is energy transferred through waves?
          How does sound behave as a wave?
          How is energy transferred between objects?
          How can you examine/measure energy transfer?
          In a closed system, how does energy react according to the Law of
           Conservation of Energy?
          How is energy transformed not created or destroyed?
          How is energy conserved?
          How is energy transferred through convection?
          How is energy transferred through radiation?
          How is thermal energy transferred between objects at different
          How does light absorb or scatter matter?
          Why do you see color?
          How does the human eye work?
          Why do different materials conduct heat at a different rate?
          How does change in temperature cause expansion or contraction?

V.   Objectives Included:
Number   Competency or Objective                                               RBT
1.01            Identify and create questions and hypotheses that can be       A1
                answered through scientific investigations.
1.02            Develop appropriate experimental procedures for:               B3
                     Given questions.
                     Student generated questions.
1.03            Apply safety procedures in the laboratory and in field         A3
                     Recognize potential hazards.
                     Manipulate materials and equipment.
                     Conduct appropriate procedures.
1.04            Analyze variables in scientific investigations:                B4
                     Identify dependent and independent.
                     Use of a control.
                     Manipulate.
                     Describe relationships between.
                     Define operationally.

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1.05     Analyze evidence to:                                          C3 (c4)
               Explain observations.
               Make inferences and predictions.
               Develop the relationship between evidence and
1.06     Use mathematics to gather, organize, and present              A2
         quantitative data resulting from scientific investigations:
               Measurement.
               Analysis of data.
               Graphing.
               Prediction models.
1.07     Prepare models and/or computer simulations to:                B2
               Test hypotheses.
               Evaluate how data fit.
1.08     Use oral and written language to:                             A1
               Communicate findings.
               Defend conclusions of scientific investigations.
1.09     Use technologies and information systems to:                  A1
               Gather and analyze data.
               Visualize data.
               Disseminate findings to others
1.10     Analyze and evaluate information from a scientifically        B4
         literate viewpoint by reading, hearing, and/or viewing:
               Scientific text.
               Articles.
               Events in the popular press.
2.01     Explore evidence that "technology" has many definitions.      B3
                  Artifact or hardware.
                  Methodology or technique.
                  System of production.
                  Social-technical system.
2.02     Use information systems to:                                   B3
               Identify scientific needs, human needs, or problems
                  that are subject to technological solution.
               Locate resources to obtain and test ideas.
2.03     Evaluate technological designs for:                           B4
               Application of scientific principles.
               Risks and benefits.
               Constraints of design.
               Consistent testing protocols.

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2.04     Apply tenets of technological design to make informed          B3
         consumer decisions about:
             Products.
             Processes.
             Systems.
6.01     Determine how convection and radiation transfer energy         B4
6.02     Analyze heat flow through materials or across space from       B4
         warm objects to cooler objects until both objects are at
6.03     Analyze sound as an example that vibrating materials           B4
         generate waves that transfer energy.
             Frequency.
             Amplitude.
             Loudness.
             How sound travels through different material.
             Form and function of the human ear.
6.04     Evaluate data for qualitative and quantitative relationships   B6
         associated with energy transfer and/or transformation.         (B5)
6.05     Analyze the physical interactions of light and matter:         B4
             Absorption.
             Scattering.
             Color perception.
             Form and function of the human eye.
6.06     Analyze response to heat to determine the suitability of       B4
         materials for use in technological design:
             Conduction.
             Expansion.
             Contraction.
6.07     Analyze the Law of Conservation of Energy:                     B4
             Conclude that energy cannot be created or                 (B5)
                destroyed, but only changed from one form into
             Conclude that the amount of energy stays the same,
                although within the process some energy is always
                converted to heat.
             Some systems transform energy with less loss of
                heat than others.

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VI.     ELD/ LD

VII. Materials:
     Prism set                                      Clear plastic cups (3 per
     Mirror                                          group)
     Sturdy rope                                    Foam cups
     Slinky                                         Thermometers and/or
     Overhead                                        computer temperature probes
     Medicine dropper                                if available
     Clear plastic container with                   Hot water or hot plate to heat
       flat bottom                                    water
     Markers                                        Ice
     Construction paper                             Graduated Cylinders
     Water                                          Computer and computer
     Cotton cord/ yarn                               graphing program
     Metal coat hangers                             500 ml beaker
     Set of tuning forks                            Piece of wood
     Rubber mallets                                 Food coloring
     Water                                          Small bottles with small
     Paper cups (various sizes)                      openings
     Kite string                                    Printer- at computer station
     Tin cans                                       Computer lab with internet
     Wire                                            access
     Yarn                                           Cardboard
     Plastic cord                                   Black markers
     Aluminum electrical tubing                     Magnifying glasses
     Glass bottles with narrow                      Window or light source
       mouth (Identical- at least 3)                 Paper towel or tissue “empty”
     ruler
                                                      roll (can also use a paper
     Recycled items
                                                     Wax paper

VIII.    Big Idea
        Heat flows through materials or across space from warm objects to cooler
objects, until both objects are at equilibrium. Heat travels through solids, primarily
by conduction. Heat is circulated in fluids, both liquids and gases, through the
process of convection. Most fluids expand when heated, causing the volume of
the fluid to increase but without changing the mass of the material in the fluid.
Similarly, the cooling of fluids increases the density of a portion of a fluid due to
these changes in density. These cells rotate and help change the temperature of
the entire fluid.
        Light is a form of energy emitted by the Sun as well as light-producing
objects on Earth. Light can be absorbed or reflected by objects depending upon
the properties of the object and the type and angle of light when it hits the object.
Some materials scatter light and others allow light rays to pass through, but

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refract the light by changing its speed. The structure of the human eye can detect
many colors in visible light that are reflected by objects.
        Sound is a form of energy that is caused when vibrating materials produce
waves that move through matter. These waves have different characteristics
such as frequency and amplitude, which will determine the properties of sound
such as pitch and loudness. The form of the human ear can receive sound waves
as vibrations and convert them to signals that are processed by the brain.
        There are many forms of energy such as thermal, mechanical, light,
sound, electrical, solar, chemical, and electromagnetic. Energy can not be
created or destroyed, but only changed from one form into another. This means
that the total amount of energy in a system stays the same. Energy conversion is
never perfect and usually heat is released in the process.
        Humans have learned to use these forms of energy in many ways to meet
our basic needs and enrich our lives. Humans have developed many tools and
instruments that detect the many forms of energy. These instruments help us
understand the properties of materials, which determine their suitability for
technological design.

IX. Notes to Teacher:
       This unit can be one of the most interesting and exciting of any in sixth
grade. There are so many opportunities to really get student’s hands on and
mind’s wrapped around important science concepts related to energy and energy
transfer. With very simple and inexpensive materials, students can do some
engaging lab activities with heat, light, and sound.

There are two reasons to teach this unit as the last one in the year. First, it can
be used to review, summarize and connect concepts in astronomy, geology, and
ecology studied in sixth grade. Energy and waves serve as the common
denominator for all these topics.

The second reason to plan on teaching this unit at the end of the school year is
that the content tends to be more abstract than some of the others in this grade
level. This does not mean that it is too difficult or challenging for sixth graders.
The way the content is approached makes all the difference. Teaching from the
textbook will be difficult and probably boring for the teacher and student. The
activities in this unit connect abstract concepts to the lives of students and the
things students care about. For example, sound is taught through music and the
study and construction of musical instruments. Heat insulation and conduction is
taught with a “Save the Ice Cube” contest.

There is a heavy reliance on line material as there are so many great websites
with animations that make abstract ideas more accessible to concrete learners.
These websites explored either in whole class or individual settings will greatly
enhance understanding of key concepts in this unit. With this reliance on
technology and hands on learning, the textbook becomes what it was designed

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to be – a resource to support learning. The textbook is a great source of
pictures, diagrams, and definitions but is not effective in exciting learners about

The lessons in this unit are:
    Heat Energy on the Move
         o This lesson explores convection and reviews radiation and the
             conservation of energy from an earlier unit. Heat insulators and
             conductors and the movement of heat from warmer to cooler
             materials are all explored in high interest activities.
    How Your Brain Understand What Your Ear Hears
         o This lesson is an NIH module with some great on line activities to
             explore the workings of the human ear and sound as a powerful
             means of communication.
    The Symphony of Sound
         o This lesson explores the physics of sound through music and the
             study and construction of homemade musical instruments.
    Lighting Up Science
         o This lesson combines the study of the eye with general concepts on
             the nature of light. An on line dissection of a cow eye is a lesson
             sixth graders will not forget.
    Energetic Waves of Energy
         o A summary lesson on heat, sound, and light waves that ends with a
             rousing wave rap that enables students to review major concepts.

X. Global Content
Activity title                     21st century goal
                                       Organizing and relating ideas when
Heat Energy on the Move                   writing- Language Skill/writing
                                       Conveying thought or opinions
                                          effectively- Communication skills
                                       Explaining a concept to other-
                                          communication skills
                                       Identifying cause and effect
                                          relationships- Language skills /reading
                                       Working independently- Employability
                                       Working on a teams- teamwork
                                       Taking initiative- teamwork
                                       Synthesizing information form several
                                          sources- Language skills/ writing
                                       Develop visual aids for presentations-
                                          Computer knowledge

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                                Organizing and relating ideas when
How Your Brain Understands       writing- Language Skill/writing
What Your Ear Hears             Conveying thought or opinions
                                 effectively- Communication skills
                                Explaining a concept to other-
                                 communication skills
                                Identifying cause and effect
                                 relationships- Language skills /reading
                                Working independently- Employability
                                Working on a teams- teamwork
                                Organizing and relating ideas when
The Symphony of Sound            writing- Language Skill/writing
                                Conveying thought or opinions
                                 effectively- Communication skills
                                Explaining a concept to other-
                                 communication skills
                                Identifying cause and effect
                                 relationships- Language skills /reading
                                Working independently- Employability
                                Working on a teams- teamwork
                                Organizing and relating ideas when
Lighting Up Science              writing- Language Skill/writing
                                Conveying thought or opinions
                                 effectively- Communication skills
                                Explaining a concept to other-
                                 communication skills
                                Identifying cause and effect
                                 relationships- Language skills /reading
                                Working independently- Employability
                                Working on a teams- teamwork
                                Taking initiative- teamwork
                                Synthesizing information form several
                                 sources- Language skills/ writing
                                Develop visual aids for presentations-
                                 Computer knowledge
                                Learning new software programs-
                                 Computer knowledge

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                               Organizing and relating ideas when
Energetic Waves of Energy       writing- Language Skill/writing
                               Conveying thought or opinions
                                effectively- Communication skills
                               Explaining a concept to other-
                                communication skills
                               Identifying cause and effect
                                relationships- Language skills /reading
                               Working independently- Employability
                               Working on a teams- teamwork
                               Taking initiative- teamwork
                               Synthesizing information form several
                                sources- Language skills/ writing
                               Develop visual aids for presentations-
                                Computer knowledge

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                            Heat Energy on the Move

1.01, 1.02, 1.03, 1.04, 1.05, 1.06, 1.07, 1.08, 1.09, 1.10, 2.01, 2.02, 2.03, 2.04,
6.01, 6.02, 6.04, 6.06, 6.07

   Clear plastic cups (3 per group)
   Foam cups
   Thermometers and/or computer temperature probes if available
   Water
   Hot water or hot plate to heat water
   Ice
   Graduated Cylinders
   Computer and computer graphing program
   500 ml beaker
   Piece of wood
   Food coloring
   Small bottles with small openings (See Engage)

1. Convection in a Beaker
Teacher Demo only! Be very aware of safety with this demo. Students
should not be in a position to encounter boiling hot water or touch the hot

Place a 500ml beaker on a hot plate. Slide half of the beaker off the burner and
rest on a pencil or small block of wood whichever is appropriate for the hot plate
you have. Whatever is used should support the side of the beaker not on the
burner of the hot plate to the same height as the side that rests on the hot plate.
Be sure that the beaker is very stable before you start this demo!


              Wood                      Hot plate

The beaker will be filled with water to the 400ml measuring point of the beaker.
Drop some paper punches in the water. Turn on the hot plate and boil the water.
Observe the path of the paper punches. Have the students draw, label, and try to
explain what you see happening in the beaker. Make sure that the students add
color in their drawings.

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2. Convection in a jar
Put food coloring in a small amount of hot water in a small jar with a small
opening- the smaller the better. (A small jar example would be a similar size to a
hotel shampoo bottle. Dropper bottles will work also.) Use tongs to place small
jar on bottom of a large clear container of cold water. (Container example would
be a beaker or a canning jar) Have the students observe, draw, and try to
explain what you see.
     How is this like convection in the beaker?
     What part of the convection current is missing in this activity?

Part 1
Each group will need three plastic cups of water.
   1. One should be at room temperature, one should be very warm, and the
       other ice cold.
   2. Record the temperature of each cup of water every five minutes over a
       period of time.
   3. After the first temperature reading, have students put one drop of food
       coloring in each cup.
   4. Students should observe and make a series of drawings showing the
       movement of the food coloring through the water over time.
   5. Make a line graph of temperature readings using a different color for each
       cup of water.
   6. Graph time on the horizontal axis and temperature on the vertical axis.
   7. Label each axis and make a key for the colors used on the graph.

   Have the students respond to these questions in their science notebooks:
      How long did it take for the food coloring to spread evenly throughout
         each of the cups of water?
      Through which cup of water did the food coloring spread most quickly?
         Why do you think this happened?
      Through which cup of water did the food coloring spread most slowly?
         Why do you this happened?
      Which cup of water seemed to have the most “energy”? Explain you
      At what point did the temperature in each cup reach “equilibrium” (stop
         changing)? Why did this happen?
      Where did the heat energy come from that warmed the ice water?
      Where did the heat energy from the hot water go as the temperature
      What happens to the temperature of the water that is warmer than
         room temperature?
      Where does the heat from the water go?
      What happens to the temperature of the water that is below room

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         Where does the heat energy come from that causes this change in
         How does the motion of the molecules in the warm and cold water
         How does this activity illustrate the Law of Conservation of Energy?

Part 2
   1. Each group needs three foam cups.
   2. A volume (the amount does not matter) of hot water is measured and
       poured into the first cup.
   3. An equal volume of ice-cold water is measured and poured into the
             second cup.
   4. Have students predict and record the temperature of the mixture of hot
       water and ice water on a table.
   5. Mix the water in one cup, measure, and record the temperature.
   6. Repeat steps with unequal volumes of hot and cold water.

Volume of     Temp of       Volume of     Temp of       Estimated     Measured
Cold water    Cold Water    Hot Water     Hot           Temp of       Temp of
                                          Water         Mixture       Mixture

Part 1
Each group should share their findings from the above activity. (Examples of
possible student work are posters, charts, or graphs)

Discussion Questions:
    Why did lines for hot, cold, and room temperature water eventually
      converge at the same point?
    What happened to the heat energy in the hot water?
    What happened to the heat energy in the cold water?
    Which container of water reached room temperature first? Why do you
      think this was true?
    How does this activity illustrate radiation and convection?
    Which method of heat transfer (radiation, convection) was most important
      in the temperature change? Why do you think this?
    Why were foam cups used in this activity?

Heat moves by waves of radiation from warmer to cooler objects and by
convection through liquids and gases. Heat conductors and insulators are used
to control the flow of heat into and out of systems. Think about these questions

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as they relate to the movement of heat energy. This can be completed in several
    1. Individual reflection in a student note book and then share in a whole
       group setting.
    2. Small groups could have peer discussion about each topic and them
       compare ideas in a whole group setting.
    3. Cut the ideas apart and distribute to individuals/ partners and have them
       present their thoughts on their individual concept.
            If you were to participate in a “Melt the Ice Cube” Contest what are
              some ideas you might try to melt the ice cube in record time?

             If your hot chocolate is too hot, what are some ideas for speeding
              up its cool down?

             If you want to keep your hot chocolate hot, what would you do?

             How does a thermos bottle work to keep hot liquids hot and cold
              liquids cold? Draw and label diagrams to explain your answer.

             How does increasing the insulation in a house decrease both
              heating bills in the winter and air conditioning costs in the summer?

             How can you bake a Baked Alaska dessert consisting mostly of ice
              cream in a very hot oven and the ice cream not melt? Find a recipe
              for baked Alaska. What insulates the ice cream when its in the

             Why is it so cold in space?

             Why is it so hot on one side of the moon and so cold on the other?

             How do space suits keep astronauts cool in the sun and warm in
              the shade?

             Why is it colder on a mountain than at sea level?

             How can there be more heat energy in an iceberg than in a piping
              hot cup of cocoa? Give reasons for your answer.

             Where is the warmest air in a room? Why do you think this? How
              can you find out?

             Where is the warmest air in house – the attic or the basement?
              Why do you think so? How can you find out?

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Have the students participate in a “Save the Ice Cube” contest. Allow the
students to devise a plan that will keep an ice cube from melting. Refer to the
DPI Middle school support documents for an explanation of experimental design.
It can be found on pages 57-67 in the Middle School Science Strategies
document accessed at this site.

Students will test their ideas and record their findings. Students will share their
findings with the class. Students will reflect on the data presented in the science

Things to think about for reflection:
    When looking at YOUR design- how did it compare to others presented in
      the class?
    What designs were successful? Explain your reasoning.
    What designs were not successful? Explain your reasoning.
    If you were to change the objective of this activity to “How quickly can you
      melt a block of ice?”, how would you proceed with this challenge?
    How did this activity relate to “Energy on the Move?” Explain your

Websites that student could use for reference for the competition are as follows:
On line interactive experiment on thermal insulators used in space suits.

Great lessons comparing different temperature scales (Celsius, Fahrenheit, ad

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              How Your Brain Understands What Your Ear Hears
1.01, 1.02, 1.04, 1.05, 1.07, 1.08, 1.09, 2.02, 2.03, 2.04, 6.03

   Computer
   Internet access
   Student notebook

Notes to the Teacher
The core of this lesson is on line at
http://www.science.education.nih.gov/supplements/hearing .

At this site you can order hard copies of the module, download the module,
access the web-based activities and print out student handouts. The lesson was
originally targeted for 7-8 grades but has been successfully used in many sixth
grade classrooms. Make any adjustments as you would any lesson to tailor this
lesson to the needs of your students.

The lesson outline suggests 8 days for this NIH Module, How Your Brain
Understands What Your Ear Hears. Most of the student activities involve use of
the computer and require very little in the way of materials. Module includes
blackline masters and possible supplies that will be used to carry out the

Getting the Message
Introduce students to language and communication by listening to a few lines of
the Gettysburg address in different languages and investigate why they do not
understand all that they hear. Discuss student readings that concern critical
periods for language development in children. There are discussion questions
embedded within the lesson.

Sound Communication
Students watch and listen to human speech using visual and auditory clues that
build understanding. Students engage in a listening walk in which they list and
classify sounds as environmental, voiced, or musical. Students will record
observations in a science notebook.

Do You Hear What I Hear
Introduce the decibel as the unit for measuring the loudness of a sound. Using
web-based material, students generate a hearing-response curve and investigate
the relationship of loudness, pitch, and hearing.

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 A Black Box Problem: How Do I Hear?
Students assemble a diagram of the hearing pathway using information about its
parts and their functions.

Too Loud, Too Close. Too Long
Focus on loudness of common environmental sounds and have students
evaluate the risk of hearing loss. This may result from factors such as noise.
Students evaluate their own sound exposure and determine how to minimize
their own risk of noise-induced hearing loss.

Located at this site is an interactive virtual tour of the human ear. Requires
shockware, which can be downloaded for free at this site.

Music Studio WebQuest presents a problem-based scenario for students to
solve research by conducting online research on sound and hearing.

Try your hand at this old classic problem:
    A tree falls in the forest. If there were no one, no human or animal,
      in the forest would the falling tree make any sound? Defend your
      answer with facts to back it up.
    List as many ways as you can in which technology utilizes sound waves
      to benefit people such as sonar and ultrasound.
    What happens when you hear a sonic boom?
    Why can pets hear whistles that humans cannot?

Do a four part foldable (who, where, what, when) explaining how each of
these contributed to our understanding of energy moving in sound waves:
Christian Johann Doppler, Marin Mersenn, Ernst Mach, Ernst Chladni,
Charles Yeager

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                              A Symphony of Sound

1.01, 1.02, 1.04, 1.05, 1.07, 1.08, 1.09, 1.10, 2.02, 2.04, 6.03, 6.04

   Student science notebooks
   Cotton cord/ yarn
   Metal coat hangers
   Set of tuning forks
   Rubber mallets
   Water
   Paper cups (various sizes)
   Kite string
   Tin cans
   Wire
   Yarn
   Plastic cord
   Aluminum electrical tubing
   Glass bottles with narrow mouth (Identical- at least 3)
   ruler
   Recycled items
   Computer
   Internet access

Use one or all of these ideas to get students thinking about sound and sound
waves. One way of doing this would be to set up rotation lab stations. At each
activity the students verbalize the procedures of the station and draw illustrations
of what they learned about sound.

Another suggestion for completing these activities would be to assign different
activities to different groups. Share findings with the class.

Whichever format is used, students could do a RERUN of each activity in their
science notebooks.
      Recall              Describe what you did

       Explain              Explain why you did it
                            What were you hoping to find out?

       Results              What did you observe?
                            Draw and label what you observed?

       Uncertainty          What are you unsure about?
                            What was unexpected?

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                            What are possible errors?

       New                  What did you learn?
                            What new questions arose?

Activity list:
   1. Are those cathedral bells I hear?
   Tie cotton cord/ yarn onto curved ends of a metal coat hanger. Bump the
   metal hook on against something metal. Describe the sound you hear. Wrap
   the other end of the string around a finger on each hand and hold ends of
   string in your ears. Bend over and again bump the metal hook of the coat
   hanger against something metal (file cabinet, metal leg of chair or table, etc).
   Describe the sound you hear. How was the sound different this time. Bump
   the metal against wood or plastic. Compare and contrast the sounds you
   hear when the metal hits different materials.

       Find directions and explanation of what is happening here at this site:

   2. What’s the splash?
   Hit the end of a tuning fork with a rubber mallet or on the bottom of your shoe.
   Place ends of tuning fork in water. Observe what happens. Draw and label
   what you see. Add any questions that you have.

          o Hang a ping pong ball on a thread. Strike the end of the tuning
            fork. Touch the ball with one of the tines. Observe what happens.
            Draw and label what you see.

          o Touch end of a vibrating tuning fork to a block of wood or a table
            top. Listen carefully. How is the sound changed? What do you
            think may cause this change?

   Discussion Questions:
               1. How are all these activities alike?
               2. What can we learn about sound from these activities?
               3. What questions do you have about sound after doing these

   3. Slinky waves
   Slightly stretch a slinky out on a table. Hold both ends still as another student
   squeezes a few coils together and then releases them. Observe the
   disturbance as it moves down the slinky. Record your observations in your
   notebook. Draw and label what you see. How can a slinky serve as a model
   of a sound wave? Can you create an “echo” wave? Can you increase the
   speed of the wave? Decrease the speed of the wave? In this model of a
   sound wave what do the coils of wire represent? How could the slinky be

Revised 5/13/08                         17
  used to model a light or infrared heat wave? What would you do differently in
  such a model?

  4. Can you hear me now?
  Make string telephones using paper cups and about 4 meters of kite string.
  Create other phones using tin cans, plastic cups and wire, yarn, or plastic
  cord instead of string. Experiment changing only one variable at a time in
  order to make the best possible phone.

       Find out how to use same materials to make an Ear Guitar at this site:

             Discussion questions:
             o What does a string telephone tell you about the ability of solids
                (like the string) and gases (like air) to transmit sounds through
                different materials?
             o What role does the can or cup in the telephone play? Try the
                instrument without the can or cup. Does it work? Is the sound
                loud enough for you to hear? How do you think the can and the
                cup amplify the sound and make it loud enough for you to hear?
             o Compare and contrast the string telephone and ear guitar

     Use a line of dominoes balanced on narrow end (or a line of students) to
      model sound waves moving through solids, liquids, and gases.
            Discussion questions:
            o Which model will have dominoes stacked or students standing
                closest together? (solids)
            o Why do you think sound travels fastest through solids?
            o Through which form of matter would sound travel slowest? (gas)

     Make a cuica (pronounced KWEE-kah) sometimes referred to as a
      Squawker or Laughing Cup from a yogurt or drinking cup, a string, and a
      paper clip. Punch a small hole in bottom of cup. Push string through the
      hole. Tie a paper clip to the end of the string. Hold cup in one-hand and
      pull/rub fingers of other hand along string. Try doing the same thing with a
      string and paper clip that is not tied to a cup. Try using different kinds and
      sizes of cups, strings, and paper clips. Change one variable at a time and
      see how this affects the sound produced.
              o How are the sounds created different with and without the cup?
              o Why is the cup important to making the squawker “squawk” nice
                  and loud?
              o What part of a musical instrument or sound system does the
                  same thing?
              o How does changing the cup, string, or paper clip affect the
                  sound produced?

Revised 5/13/08                         18
             o   This instrument has been called a “friction drum”. In what ways
                 is that an accurate description?
             o   Compare and contrast the cuica and the ear guitar.

Note to teacher: The cuica is a small “friction drum” made of metal with a thin
bamboo rod suspended in a hollow center. This instrument is best known today
as one of a group of instruments used to play samba music during Brazil’s
famous carnival parade. Students may want to read more about this and other
instruments from other cultures as a social studies connection to this lesson.

Whole group discussions after the above activities are completed.
   What do we know about sound from these activities?
   What questions do these activities raise about sound and how it travels?

Option 1
Observe the strings on a stringed instrument such as guitar or a piano or the
pipes on a xylophone. How are they different? How are they alike? Pluck some
strings, hit some keys on the piano, or pipes on the xylophone. What is the
relationship between pitch and the length, size, or mass of the strings or pipes?

A homemade xylophone can be constructed using 3 meters of 13mm electrical
tubing cut to lengths of 29.9cm, 27.7 cm, 26 cm, 23.3 cm, 23.9 cm, 22.6 cm, 21.8
cm, 20.5 cm, 19.5 cm, 18.1 cm, 17.6 cm, 16.5 cm, 15.5 cm. Smooth edges of
each section with a file. Prepare a board with two strips of foam to rest pipes and
foam spacers to separate pipes. Use a wood dowel and drawer knob as a
mallet. Find more detailed instructions in CESI Sourcebook on Physical Science
Activities for Elementary and Middle School.
This website has very detailed instructions for making an inexpensive xylophone.

Option 2
Fill a set of at least three identical size bottles with different volumes of water
(1/4, ½. and ¾ full works nicely). Predict how sounds made by the bottles will be
different when you blow across the top and when you hit the side of the bottle.
Test your prediction by blowing across the top of one of the bottles and then by
hitting the side of the same bottle with a pencil or ruler. How are the sounds

Blow across the top of each of the three bottles.
other sounds. Describe the pitch of each sound produced as high, medium, or
low in relationship to the other two sounds.

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Hit the side of each of three bottles.
Describe the pitch of each sound produced as high, medium, or low in
relationship to the other two sounds.

Make and record data in a chart like the one below.
   Explain the difference observed in pitch produced by the same bottle
     when these two different methods are used to set up vibrations in the
   How does the height of the water column affect pitch when you hit the
   How does the height of the column of air affect pitch when you blow
     across the top of the bottle?
   Can you explain why this happens?

Bottle Height of     Height of air   Pitch Produced by     Pitch Produced by
       water (cm)    column (cm)     Blowing Across Top    Hitting Side
                                     prediction actual     prediction actual

Draw a diagram of the instruments observed and explain how the pitch is

From a list of diagrams and pictures of instruments, select one to explain how
pitch and loudness can be changed.
Possible pictures to use: (images found at the accompanying website)




Revised 5/13/08                        20

Have band members bring instruments to class and share how pitch is changed
on brass, string, percussion, and/or reed instruments. What part of the
instruments amplifies the sound and makes it louder?

Have students make and complete a chart on each instrument shared with the
Type of     Examples of this  What           How pitch is     How sound is
instrument type of instrument vibrates?      changed?         amplified?


Revisit the activities in the engage section. Have students try to expand on
explanation and understanding of properties of sound and sound waves
illustrated by these simple activities.

Use common materials to create a musical instrument. For example a recycled
plastic bottle can be turned into maracas by adding beans… and
shake….shake…shake. A straw can become a flute. A rubber band, pencil, and
a ruler can be a mini ukulele. Street performers often create instruments from
pots and pans, buckets and oil barrels. In fact most anything can be a part of a
homemade musical instrument –even the kitchen sink. A popular off Broadway
show has musicians strap on kitchen sinks and play them along with some other
very unconventional instruments. Likewise there is no limit to the ingenuity that
can go into creating a symphony of the sounds of music in your classroom!

Step 1 Make a Plan
Make a homemade musical instrument. Brainstorm a list of materials that could
be used to make a homemade musical instrument. Think about the design of
your instrument. What will vibrate to set up sound waves? How will that material
be set in motion? How will the instrument produce musical sounds? How will
you vary the sound produced to get higher and lower pitches? What can you add
to the instrument to amplify the sound?

Revised 5/13/08                        21
Step 2 Build your instrument
Experiment with different materials to find the sound you like best.
How do different kinds of materials affect the sounds?
Explore and experiment with your design. How does adding or removing certain
parts or materials affect the loudness of your sound?
How can you vary the pitch of your sound?

Step 3 Play your instrument for the class
Is the sound pleasing to the ear? Can you play a wide range of notes? Can you
vary the loudness? Have classmates suggest improvements that you might make
to your instrument.

From what you have learned about pitch and loudness what adjustments can you
make to produce different tones.

Try to play a simple song or make up your own. Videotape your performance.

Suggested resources for ideas on homemade instruments:
Video on making a xylophone from glasses and water. Scroll down to find videos
for making 14 simple musical instruments.

AIMS Publication “Primarily Physics” has an activity “Musical Instruments” with
lots of ideas for making simple instruments from everyday materials.

To summarize what the students learned about the qualities of sound in their
relationship to musical instruments. Have the students explore the following site
on the computer:
http://www.exploratorium.edu/music/exhibits/index.html. This is an interactive site
where the students will use sound qualities that will relate back to the world
around them. Please stress for the students to explore the section entitled
“headland experiments” these are great examples of sound in the real world.

History of Sound
Trace history of sound/music technology from Edison’s first record player to LP’s
to tapes, to music CD’s to the electronic music systems of today.

Students can explore music from movies in different eras at the following site:
http://www.mtsu.edu/~smpte/timeline.html and be asked to prepare an illustrated
time line to share with the class.

Activities with Sound

Revised 5/13/08                         22
Lesson on the five senses

The Soundry contains basic concepts of sound through how humans understand
the waves of sound.

This is a WebQuest dealing with general sound concepts.

this is a WebQuest dealing with the nature of sound waves and how it relates to
our human lives.

This is labeled as a 5th grade WebQuest- but the content is very appropriate for
sixth grade competency goals. Students will be introduced to some great
websites as they work through these activities.

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                               Lighting Up Science

1.01, 1.02, 1.04, 1.05, 1.07, 1.08, 1.10, 2.02, 2.03, 2.04, 6.05

   Computer station with printer and internet access
   Computer lab with internet access
   Materials for explore depend on activities selected. All materials are
      readily available: white and colored paper, clear plastic cups, pennies,
      colored markers, bottle caps, food coloring, eye dropper.
   Cardboard
   Black markers
   Magnifying glasses
   Window or light source
   Paper towel or tissue “empty” roll (can also use a paper cup)
   Wax paper

Notes to the Teacher
This lesson attempts to take the study of the eye beyond simply labeling the
parts of the eye to an appreciation for the human eye as a truly remarkable
organ. Understanding that we can see objects only as a result of light reflecting
off them is an important concept for this unit. Many middle school students think
that an apple in a totally dark closet would be visible to the human eye after the
eye has time to adjust to the darkness. This is a misconception that can be
addressed with activities in this lesson and others in this unit. Just as we see the
moon and the planets in the night sky only as a result of reflected sunlight, we
see non-luminous objects in our environment only as a result of light produced by
luminous objects being reflected off them to our eyes.

While this lesson deals just with the visible light portion of the electromagnetic
spectrum, students may enjoy learning about how infrared detectors are used by
firemen to “see” victims in burning houses where smoke makes location and
detection of people and pets impossible with sight. Infrared radiation, not visible
light, is used.


Select one or all of these activities to accomplish the objectives of the engage
portion of a five e lesson: access prior knowledge, provide motivation, and raise
questions for student investigation and research.

Revised 5/13/08                          24
Activity 1: Can I see in total darkness?

Brainstorm a list of things that are luminous (radiate or emit light). Brainstorm
another list of things that reflect light rays. Draw pictures of a few items in each
list and use arrows to show light rays radiating out from luminous objects in the
first list and reflecting off objects in the second list.

Note to teacher: The first list is fairly straight forward if students remember that
the moon is seen only by reflected light from the sun. The second list is a bit
trickier. Most students will probably think of light being reflected (bounced off)
shiny, smooth surfaces like mirrors. Some may have more prior knowledge and
suggest that anything that the eye can “see” must be reflecting light waves.

Questions to have students consider as a way of assessing background
knowledge on light and sight:

      How does the eye work?
      How do insect and human eyes compare?
      What makes it possible for us to see objects?
      Can you see in the dark? Why or why not?
      How many sources and kinds of light can you name?
      What is the role of luminous objects in making it possible for us to see
       non- luminous objects?
      Why can you hear around a corner but can’t see around one?
      Why do you see lightning before you hear thunder?
      Can you draw a diagram to show what happens to light rays when they hit
       different surfaces and objects such as a black asphalt pavement,
       aluminum foil, window glass, magnifying glass, glass of water, or
      What is a laser? Why is laser light always a “colored” light?

Challenge students to draw a diagram in science notebooks that traces the path
that a light rays would travel from a luminous object like the sun or a light bulb to
the human eye enabling us to see non luminous objects. Come back to this
diagram at the end of the unit to see if student ideas about this have changed.

Activity 2 Colors from black and white?

In 1894, toymaker C. E. Benham discovered that a spinning disk with a particular
pattern of black and white marks could cause people to see colors. Mr. Benham
called his disk an "Artificial Spectrum Top". His toy has puzzled scientists for
over 100 years. Students can use directions at this site to make this toy
themselves. There are three sets of directions varying in complexity. The
simplest uses only cardboard, a toothpick and black and white patterned disks
downloaded from the web. The most sophisticated uses an old CD and a penny.
There are suggestions for inquiry activities and experiments with this unique toy.

Revised 5/13/08                          25
This site includes possible explanations for the mystery colors produced.

Another site with instructions, explanation, and pattern for a Benham Disk

Activity 3: Reflecting colors round and round inside a kaleidoscope
Make a Kaleidoscope and enjoy interesting and changing patterns of color
A very simple and inexpensive kaleidoscope can be made from plexiglass and
duct tape! Each kaleidoscope requires: 3 (15 cm x 2.54) pieces of plexiglass,
duct tape, 3 circles (radius of 5 cm) cut from clear transparency plastic, 1 (12 cm)

1.Provide students with materials listed above.
2.Have them tape the plexiglass together so that it forms a triangular prism.
Enough duct tape should be used to totally cover the outside of the plexiglass.
3. Use permanent markers to draw original designs on the transparency circles.
4. Find the center of the circles and poke the circles with the nail. Tape the nail
to the side of the triangular prism.
5. Turn the circles as you look through the other end.
6. Describe what you observe. What is the role of the plexiglass in the

Notes to the teacher:
      1. Plexiglass can be purchased rather inexpensively at home improvement
      stores. Sheets are usually cut for you for free if you tell them it is for your
      2. Add math connections by reviewing parts of a circle (center, radius,
      diameter), finding the area and circumference of the circles, and by finding
      the volume and surface area of the triangular prism.

See this website for another method of constructing a kaleidoscope and
information on what is happening and the science behind the “magic” of the

Activity 4: Make a periscope
Find out how to make a simple periscope. What is a periscope? Who might use
a periscope? What is the essential part of a periscope?

Find uses, history, and simple directions for making binoculars, kaleidoscopes,
and periscopes at this site.

Revised 5/13/08                          26
The website below has a number of simple and high interest activities with optical
illusions and tricks with vision. Select a number of them to set up stations around
the room for a rotation lesson on vision. Some of the activities will require a
computer as they are done online. Others use simple, inexpensive materials and
have simple directions that can be printed out for stations. Students can work in
pairs. Duplicate stations can be set up for activities that take longer to complete
or ones that the teacher wishes to require all students to complete. Students
should record name of each station completed in their science notebook along
with observations, labeled drawings, and questions that arise as a result of the
activity at that station. Challenge students to conduct research in the media
center or on line related to questions that arise.

All these activities are high interest and will motivate students to want to learn
more about how the eye and brain work together to receive and interpret
information from light waves reflected off objects around us.

Select some or all of these activities from the site above:
       1. The Blind Spot (Includes interesting activities and a link to directions
           for calculating the diameter of your blind spot)
       2. Depth Perception (2 activities and a game)
       3. Shifting Backgrounds, Shifting Images
       4. Dark Adaptation
       5. Visual Illusions (15 interesting optical illusions), many of these online
           as interactive shockware games at
       6. Contrast Effect (interactive picture)
       7. Don’t Jump to Conclusions (interactive picture)
       8. See It To Believe It
       9. X-Ray Vision
       10. Starlight, Star Bright
       11. Seeing in the Dark
       12. Accommodating Accommodation

Have groups of students share observations, drawings, comments, and
questions that arose from selected activities. With each activity ask students to
consider “What is the big idea here? What did we learn about the human eye
and human sight by doing this activity? Be sure to encourage students to
continue to “wonder” and formulate questions

After reviewing the activities above, the students will complete a content frame
that will demonstrate their understanding of at least 3 of the above activities. A
content frame is a literacy strategy that allows the students to look at a concept

Revised 5/13/08                          27
and compare the information within a concept. An example of a concept map is
as follows:
Criteria being See It to Believe It   X-Ray Vision         Seeing in the Dark

-this is an informational site for background information for the following activities.

Activity one
Experiment with a magnifying glass to focus an image on a piece of paper.
Stand in a dimly lighted room with your back to the sun or light coming from a
window. Focus the image of a distance object on a white sheet of paper. You
can also use the light from a bare incandescent bulb to focus the image of the
bulb on a white sheet of paper. What do you notice about the image on the
paper? What part of the eye is most like the magnifying glass? What happens
to the light rays as they hit the magnifying glass? Are they reflected, refracted,
absorbed, or dispersed?

Activity Two:
Magic Flipping arrow:
Have the student prepare a flashlight for this activity in the following way:
   1. Cut wax paper into a 6” square.
   2. Cut out the following “arrow template.”

   3. Cut out the arrow on the above template.
   4. Assemble the flashlight in the following order:

             Flashlight           wax      arrow     lens    lens
                                  paper                       cover

Revised 5/13/08                           28
   5. Reassemble the flashlight.
   6. Tape a measuring tape along the edge of a lab table.
   7. Place a ball of clay on the table at the 50 cm mark.
   8. Push the handle of a hand lens in the class so that the lens is rests on
      the 50 cm line.
   9. Make the hand lens stand up perpendicular to the table top as
      illustrated below:


   10. One student will position themselves at the end of the table and
       observe what happens.
   11. Another student will move the flashlight one cm at a time towards the
       hand lens. Make sure that the arrow inside the flashlights lens is
       pointing straight up.
   12. Record anything that is observed from the student at that is at the
       end of the table. (Students should see that the arrow “flips.”)
   13. Take turns to make observations from all the teammates
   14. discussion questions:
          a. What was observed as the light was moved?
          b. Is there anything interesting that happened as the flashlight
              was moved towards the lens? Did this happen for all the
              members of your team?
          c. What was observed when the flashlight was closer to the lens?
          d. What was observed when the flashlight was farther away from
              the lens?

Activity three:
Making a pinhole viewer:
Have the student construct a pinhole camera using a “empty” paper tube from
paper towels or tissue and a square of wax paper.
   1. Secure the wax paper on one end of the “empty” tube. (Use rubber band,
       glue, and tape…)

Revised 5/13/08                       29
   2. Have the student make a PINhole in the middle of the wax paper using a
   3. Allow students to explore the classroom by looking through the “pinhole”
      and record what they see.
   4. Have them make a chart to record their observations.
   5. Try making a pinhole viewer with a paper cup by punching hole in the
      bottom of the cup.
   6. Have the students share their findings.

Object:          Observation                        Thoughts:

Activity Four:
Find six simple activities appropriate for setting up as learning centers for
individual or small group exploration at this site. One activity uses an old CD as
a diffraction grating to observe spectrum of colors in different lights.
Description of activities and material lists are found at this site:
Student directions for activity centers can be printed out from this site:

Activity Five:
Cow Eye Virtual Dissection

Find Science, Optics, and You, a series of interactive java tutorials, at this site.
Some suggested ones include: Newton’s Prism Experiments, Optical Light
Bench, Eclipses of the Moon, Solar Eclipse, Light and Color, and Human Vision.

Prepare a rubric to grade student notebook entries from the activities assigned
from this site.

Make an illustrated timeline of optical instruments including telescopes,
microscopes, cameras, eyeglasses and contact lenses.

On line activities on basic concepts associated with light

Revised 5/13/08                          30

Find uses, history, and simple directions for making binoculars, kaleidoscopes,
and periscopes at this site.

Good background information on the eye and how vision works

List of hints on eye safety and links to two on line quizzes “Eye Fitness” and
“Safe Eyes Quiz for Kids” can be found at this website.

Students make a model of the eye and compare how the human eye and a
camera work

Download a 16 page pamphlet, VISION – A School Program for Grades 4-8. It
includes three lessons and student task sheets:
        The Eyes and the Great Brain Connection
        The Imperfect Eye
        Eye Safety

Website with basic information on light, speed it travels, and how it can be
blocked or absorbed, reflected or refracted (bent) by different materials.

Find a discussion of laser light at this site.

Revised 5/13/08                         31
                            Energetic Waves of Energy
1.01, 1.02, 1.04, 1.05, 1.06, 1.07, 1.09, 1.10, 2.02, 2.04, 6.01, 6.03, 6.04, 6.05

   Prism set
   Mirror
   Sturdy rope
   Slinky
   Overhead
   Medicine dropper
   Clear plastic container with flat bottom
   Water

Notes to the teacher:
This lesson attempts to connect concepts from several units and lessons in the
sixth grade curriculum. Spectra of the sun or distant stars, destructive
earthquakes, beautiful rainbows, pulsating musical rhythms, warm rays from the
sun which provide energy to power our planet and global warming with the
possibility of destroying fragile earth systems are all connected by wave
phenomena. Each of these can only be understood when one understands
waves as “energy on the move”.

Sometimes we can see or feel waves like water waves or earthquake waves.
Some very important waves that affect our lives are often not as noticeable as
waves of water or as destructive as earthquake waves. These waves are ever
present in our world serving as seemingly “invisible movers and shakers” filling
the universe with light, sound, and heat energy on the move! Whether visible or
invisible, waves share many basic properties that students explore in this lesson.

Both hands on experiences with ropes and slinkys and computer animations are
needed to help the sixth grader begin to understand the somewhat abstract
concept of waves. This understanding is more fully developed in later years.

Animations of transverse and longitudinal waves at this site will help students
visualize the difference between light and sound waves.

Dr Dan Russell at Kettering University in Michigan has some excellent
animations and explanations of wave motion on this website. It is copyrighted
but permission is given to teachers to use this material with students. This site
is excellent for building teacher background knowledge. Information and
animations will be helpful in facilitating student activities in this lesson.

This lesson is best taught as a culminating one as it has the potential to tie
together so many of the topics in the sixth grade standard course of study.

Revised 5/13/08                          32
Part One: White light is really what colors?
Shine a beam of light on white surface. Put a prism in the path of the beam of
     What do you see?
     Can you list colors in order?
     Where do you think these colors come from?
     How does the acronym ROY G BIV help you describe what you see?
     Which color seems to bend (refract) the most as light passes through the
     Which color bends (refracts) the least?
     What might this tell us about the wavelength of different colors of light?

Place a pan of water in direct sunlight. Place a mirror in the pan. Most of the
mirror should be underwater. Tilt the mirror so that reflected sunlight falls on a
white surface. What do you see on the white surface?

Find four flash videos showing refraction of white light through prisms and
rainsdrops to create spectrums and rainbows at this site.

Think of a time you saw a rainbow in the sky. Think about and discuss the
following questions:
     What were the conditions at the time?
     What time of day was it?
     What direction of the sky was the rainbow seen in?
     Why does the sky appear blue?
     Why do we often see lots of red and orange in sunsets and sunrises?
Answer these questions with the simple activity found at this site:

Part Two: Waves as “disturbances moving through a medium”
Place a clear container of water on an overhead. Place a drop of water in the
center of the overhead projector. Observe the waves projected on the screen as
the surface is “disturbed” by the falling drop.

Brainstorm a list of places you have “seen” different kinds of waves.
     How are all these waves alike?
     What makes them “waves”?

Brainstorm some invisible waves that you cannot see but yet are around us all
the time bombarding us with energy. Hint: radio waves, microwaves, sound
waves, etc.

Revised 5/13/08                          33
Part Three: What’s the “wave connection?
Use a word splash to categorize the following terms:
Word Splash- this is a literacy strategy that can be used to assess student prior
knowledge about a concept or a reading selection. The goal of this activity is to
have the students look at words, both familiar and unfamiliar, and write a
prediction of how ALL the words interrelate. Make it a challenge to see if the
student can relate ALL the words. Use the handout that follows this lesson to
help you. NOTE: Have the students look for causal relationships, opposites,
similarities etc…

   transverse, longitudinal, sound, light, heat, amplitude, frequency, wavelength,
   velocity, crest, trough, compression, rarefaction, bright, dim, low, high, pitch,
   speed, reflection, echo, earthquake, color, laser, P wave, S wave, refraction,
   radiation, matter, decibel, hertz

   Add or substract words from this list as you deem appropriate to meet the
   needs of your students. Defining or memorizing definitions for these terms is
   not the purpose of this activity. It is an exercise to stimulate students thinking.

Work through this short interactive site to explore wave basics and terms like
wavelength, amplitude, frequency

Activity one: Making Waves
   1. Have students simulate the motion of particles in a transverse (light or
       heat wave) using a stiff rope. This can be modeled by tying a rope to a
       door knob or having one student hold one end of the rope still while
       another student moves the other end up and down creating a wave
       pattern. If the rope is too limp to hold crests and troughs, try stretching it
       out on a smooth floor. One student holds one end secure as another
       student moves the end of the rope back and forth to create a wave motion.
       Have the student draw what they “see” in their notebook. The teacher will
       model a picture on the board. Examples of this will be as follows:

   2. Have the students try to do each of the following with the rope:
         Make a wave with one crest.
         Make a wave with more than one crest.
         Make a wave that shows a high frequency (lots of crests and trough
            moving along rope.
         Make a wave that shows a low frequency (only one crest and
            trough moving along rope.)

Revised 5/13/08                          34
             Make a wave that has the shortest wavelength (distance from the
              crest on wave to the crest on the next wave). Estimate how many
             Make a wave that has the longest possible wavelength. Estimate
              the distance from the crest of one wave to the crest of the next

Students should draw, label, and record observations of each attempt in their
science notebook. Have the student write down their thoughts to the following
questions: (They can also be discussed in a whole group setting. )
    Which waves were easiest to model?
    Which wave was most difficult?
    How are all these waves alike?
    How are these waves different?

This website is an intro to waves. It has great animations of waves as
disturbances that occur as energy moves through a medium such as air or water.

http://www.kettering.edu/~drussell/Demos/waves/wavemotion.html- animated
examples are located at this site.

Activity two: Two Kinds of Waves: Similarities and Differences
After students explore the general properties of waves using a rope, a long slinky
can be used to model and compare transverse (light and heat) and longitudinal
(sound) waves.

Wave Type 1
 1. Start with the slinky stretched out on a table or the floor. A student should
    hold each end of the slinky
 2. Pull a few coils at one end of the slinky to one side. Release and observe as
    the wave moves down the slinky to the other student. Draw and describe
    what you see in your science notebook.
 3. Move one end of the slinky to the left and then back to the right. Draw and
    label a diagram of the wave you observe.
 4. Repeat increasing the distance you move the slinky to the left and to the
    right. How does this change the wave?
 5. Repeat increasing the rate at which you move the slinky to the left and to the
    right. How does this change the wave?
 6. What kind of wave have made? What are some words to describe this

Revised 5/13/08                        35
Wave Type 2
 1. Start with the slinky stretched out on a table or the floor. A student should
    hold each end of the slinky.
 2. Squeeze together the first 20 coils making a compression. Release and
    observe as the disturbance moves down the slinky. Repeat with fewer and
    then again with more coils compressed.
 3. Draw and label a diagram of this kind of wave in your science notebook.
    What are some terms that could be used to describe this wave?

Comparing the two kinds of slinky waves
  1. List some ways the waves are alike?
  2. List some ways the waves are different?
  3. What are some terms that can used to describe both waves?
  4. What are some terms that relate to only one type of wave?
  5. What kind of energy might move in each of these waves?

Reading about waves
Read in your textbook, in media center books, or on line about the characteristics
and types of waves. Make a two part foldable comparing and contrasting the two
types of waves. Include information from the slinky activity as well as information
from your research. Some questions to try to answer from your research:
    Which wave is like a sound wave?
    Which waves are like heat and light waves?
    Which wave can travel through a vacuum?
    Which wave needs matter to move through?
    How does amplitude of a sound wave affect the nature of the sound?
    How does the amplitude of a light wave affect light?
    How does frequency of a sound wave affect the sound produced?
    Why is the frequency of electromagnetic wave important?
    Which wave is like a primary earthquake wave?
    Which wave is like a secondary earthquake wave?
    Which kind of earthquake wave doesn’t move through liquids? How is this
       important to our understanding of earth layers?
    What is the difference between a light and heat wave?
    What is the difference between a light and sound wave?
    What is the difference between a heat and sound wave?
    How are all waves alike? How are they different?

Some possible website to research the above questions are as follows:
  1. http://www.glenbrook.k12.il.us/gbssci/phys/Class/waves/u10l1c.html
  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/physics/waves/the_electromag
  3. http://www.darylscience.com/Demos/PSWaves.html
  4. http://www.howstuffworks.com/light2.htm
  5. http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/emspectrum.html
  6. http://science.hq.nasa.gov/kids/imagers/ems/visible.html

Revised 5/13/08                         36
Activity Three: Human Waves
Line students up and ask them how they could represent particle movement in a
light and sound wave. Students may remember making waves around a
stadium at an athletic contest by raising and lowering arms in turn as the wave
moves through the crowd. Have students suggest ways they can represent the
difference between a transverse (light or heat) and a longitudinal (sound) wave
moving through the line of students. Videotape what each class comes up with.
Share with other classes and have students vote on the best representation of
the movement of particles in each type of wave.

The following site describes one way that this might be done. The website
discuses modeling primary and secondary earthquake waves. Primary
earthquake waves are longitudinal waves and secondary earthquake waves are
transverse. Students will love this kinesthic representation of the two types of

Have students in small groups and whole class discussion share their
experiences and notebook drawings and explanations of the explore activities.

Have a peer review of student-made foldable that comparing transverse and
longitudinal waves.

Discuss the questions posed for research. Which ones were easily answered by
all? Which ones were most difficult to answer? Are there any that no one could
find an answer to? What other questions do you have about waves and energy
in moving in waves?

Learn and perform the Wave Rap at the end of this lesson. Have the student
identify the terms that were in both the word splash and word rap. Have student
use the terms that were not included in the original rap to add additional verses.
Have students write their own raps that include all the words and address heat,
light and sound waves. Videotape wave raps written in each class to share with
other classes, with parents, or students in the school.

Create a three part foldable to compare sound waves, visible light waves, and
infrared heat waves. Make sure that the students include diagrams to support
their understanding. Encourage the student to use as many of the words from
the word splash activity as possible to demonstrate the connections.

Revised 5/13/08                         37

Connecting the study of waves to energy from the sun
The lesson at this website is an excellent one for connecting the idea of waves to
the energy the earth receives from the sun. It both compares the two types of
waves and directs students to explore where sunlight falls on the electromagnetic
spectrum and how individual lives are affected by other wavelengths and types of
transverse waves along the electromagnetic spectrum. Handles an abstract
concept in a way that is manageable for middle school students.

Video of electromagnetic spectrum

WebQuest on the electromagnetic spectrum has students explore waves on the
electromagnetic spectrum, their benefits and risks to humans.

Have students view this video and then brainstorm a list of electromagnetic
waves that they have been exposed in the last 24 hours, the last month, and the
last year.
     How do waves along the electromagnetic spectrum differ?
     How are waves on the electromagnetic spectrum the same?

Webquest on Wave Technology designed for high school but some parts would
be good as extension activity for some sixth graders.

This upbeat song relates some of the terms addressed in this lesson

Connecting the study of waves to astronomy
This is a site has an on line activity with stellar spectrum. Using this activity
connects this unit to the one on space.

Connecting the study of waves to global warming
Understanding the difference between visible light and infrared heat waves helps
one understand what is happening with global warming. Visible light waves have
shorter waves lengths and move through the atmosphere to heat the earth’s
surface. When the heated earth radiates infrared heat waves back to space
these longer wavelengths of energy are “trapped” by carbon dioxide, water
vapor, and other gases in the air.

Revised 5/13/08                           38
Have students read the material at this website: “What is Global Warming? – The
Simple Fourth Grade Science That Everyone Needs to Know” and identify other
websites on global warming such as this one to make this connection.

Connecting the study of waves to earthquakes
These sites are great for connecting what students have learned about light,
heat, and sound waves to earthquake waves.
Great site for students to explore earthquake wave properties and to compare
them to connect them to what was learned about waves in this lesson

Observe animations of earthquakes at this site:

Modeling p waves and s waves

Animation and text of the p and s waves moving through the earth’s interior.

More info on seismic waves for the more advanced student.


Revised 5/13/08                        39
                               transver                  longitudinal



                                                                    P Wave

                                                                    S Wave

                                                trough                  refractio
          Revised 5/13/08                  40
                                   Wave Rap

                     I’m gonna tell ya’ bout a wave,
                           Just like the dance,
              And you might just like it-if you give it a chance.

                   Throw a stone in the water and watch it go,
                   Energy does travel – now don’t you know?
                       Up and down is called transverse,
                      But back and forth is another verse.
                      Look at a spring get long and short,
                      Longitudinal is the wave of this sort.

                No matter what you call it – a wave is a wave
                Three things in common- that’s all the same.
              There is wavelength, speed, and frequency, too,
                      It’s all explained in how they move.
                 Wavelength is the length from crest to crest,
                        But our wave rap is just the best.
                      Speed comes next, don’t you know
               It’s the distance traveled in a short time frame.
                   Count how many crests pass by in time,
                    And you’ll know the frequency-just fine.
                      You all know hertz-like a rental car,
                    Well it measures frequency-OK so far?

                     Waves can move-we know that’s true,
                    But now we’ll tell you what else they do.
                    They bend and change-the way they go,
                  When they hit some wall that slows their flow.
                   Refraction is the name of this bending fate.
                   But after they pass-they’re path is straight.
                    Reflection is a game that waves do play,
                   Cause the energy of motion just won’t stay.
                      It bounces right back into your face,
                          And puts itself in its first place.

                         Sound is energy we can’t see,
                              But we hear it - easily.
                  Waves move back and forth through the air.
                  They move real fast yet don’t muss your hair.
                     The warmer the air ,the faster they go.
                        So in the cold they go real slow.
                      Sound moves faster in solids, its true
                        It’s slower in air and water, too.

Revised 5/13/08                        41
                  You can hear around corners, that’s a fact.
                       It’s all because waves diffract.
                  They bend around corners so all can hear,
                        Down the hall- loud and clear.

                      Each wave has its own frequency,
                     And something else that we will see.
                     With frequency high, vibrations fast,
                       Pitch is high and heard by bats.
                     Pitch is the way that sound is heard
                     That’s how we tell two kinds of birds.

                       Music is a sound of a special kind,
                  It soothes your soul and clears your mind.
                  The sounds of music are pleasing to hear,
              These waves have frequencies somewhat near.
                     Noise comes from waves of all kinds,
               It messes with your ears and blurs your mind.
                        Musical sounds are sorta neat,
                        Especially if you know the beat.

                    Too much music and you might yell,
                    It’s too loud – turn it down a decibel.
                          Every ten decibels you see,
                    Make it twice as loud for you and me.

                    So now you know what waves can do,
                       Sound and light at work for you.

                            AUTHOR UNKNOWN

Revised 5/13/08                       42
6.01    Determine how convection and radiation transfer energy B4 (C3)
   1. How can you classify energy according to its waves?
        a. According to the waves’ frequency, amplitude, and loudness.
        b. According to the waves’ wavelength.
        c. According to the waves’ crest and trough.
        d. According to its sound.

   2. A car is warm on a summer day because_________.
         a. Nuclear energy converts to light energy.
         b. Chemical energy converts to heat energy.
         c. Light energy is converted to heat energy.
         d. Heat energy is converted to light energy.

6.02    Analyze heat flow through materials or across space from      B4
        warm objects to cooler objects until both objects are at
   1. When tap water (water from the sink) is heated on the stove, the water
      molecules movements begin to__________?
        a. Decrease in speed.
        b. Remain the same.
        c. Increase in speed.
        d. Stop.

   2. If you placed a hot stone in a beaker of cold water, what would happen to
      both objects after 10 minutes of time elapsed?
          a. The stone would get warmer and the water would get cooler.
          b. The stone will get as cold as the water had been.
          c. The water would get as hot as the stone had been.
          d. The stone would get cooler and the water would get warmer.

Revised 5/13/08                       43
6.03    Analyze sound as an example that vibrating materials          B4
        generate waves that transfer energy.
            Frequency.
            Amplitude.
            Loudness.
            How sound travels through different material.
            Form and function of the human ear.
   1. Which of the following diagrams have the highest frequency?





2. Which of the following types of energy is an example of a longitudinal wave?
     a. light waves
     b. water waves
     c. x-ray
     d. sound wave

Revised 5/13/08                        44
6.04      Evaluate data for qualitative and quantitative relationships   B6 (B5)
          associated with energy transfer and/or transformation.

Hunter observed a band concert and noted the following data about three
Instrument one    A string vibrated 15 times per       String length- 10 cm
Instrument two    A string vibrates 20 times per       String length- 50 cm
Instrument three A string vibrates 9 times per         String length- 100 cm

   1. Which one of the following statements is true when looking at the data
         a. Instrument one has the highest pitch.
         b. Instrument two has the lowest pitch.
         c. There is no difference in the pitch of the instruments.
         d. There is not enough information to determine the relative pitch of
            the instruments.

   2. Selena stretches a rubber band across a box and lets it go. What is
         a. Electrical energy
         b. Magnetic energy
         c. Sound waves
         d. Light waves

6.05      Analyze the physical interactions of light and matter:         B4
              Absorption.
              Scattering.
              Color perception.
              Form and function of the human eye.
Use the following diagram to answer the question below:
   1. Walker uses a prism and makes this drawing of his observations. Which
      best explains the observation.
         a. Each color of light bends at a different angle.
         b. Each color of light bends at the same angle.
         c. White light is made of one wavelength of light.
         d. White light is reflected by the prism.

Revised 5/13/08                         45
   2. Why is the moon visible from the Earth?
        a. The moon has its own light.
        b. The moon absorbs light during the day and emits it during the night.
        c. Light from the Earth makes the moon visible.
        d. Sunlight is reflected off the moon to the Earth.

6.06     Analyze response to heat to determine the suitability of      B4
         materials for use in technological design:
            Conduction.
            Expansion.
            Contraction.
          Not heated                                   Not heated

    Cold metal ball fits .                       Heated metal ball does not fit
     through the ring.                              through the ring.
Images found at : www.goalfinder.com/product.asp?productid=60

   1. Kristi observes the two situations that are shown in the above diagram. If
      Kristi watches the teacher heat the second situation as stated, she will be
      able to explain that, _____.
          a. The ball was already smaller than the ring.
          b. The ball expanded when heated and now does not fit in the
          c. The ball contracted once placed through the ring and now will not
          d. The ball gained an extra mass as it was heated and it became

   2. Sandra notes that the concrete pad in the driveway had large irregular
      cracks. When recording her observations of the problem, she notices that
      the area was extremely large without separation joints. These cracks
      probably occurred because_______.
         a. Expansion and contraction due to heating and cooling.
         b. External pressure.
         c. Weathering.
         d. Expansion and contraction due to moisture absorption.

Revised 5/13/08                        46
6.07     Analyze the Law of Conservation of Energy:                   B4 (B5)
            Conclude that energy cannot be created or
               destroyed, but only changed from one form into
            Conclude that the amount of energy stays the
               same, although within the process some energy is
               always converted to heat.
            Some systems transform energy with less loss of
               heat than others.

   1. Nelda was preparing bathwater for Alli Grace. The hot water flowed from
      the faucet at 80 degrees Celsius, too hot for the baby. Which of the
      following methods would make the bath water appropriate for Alli Grace
      the fastest?
          a. Let the water cool down over time.
          b. Add cold water to the tub.
          c. Add ice to the water.
          d. Fan the surface of the water with your hand.

   2. An Ice cube is placed into a glass of soda. What happens to the glass of
      soda within the first minute?
         a. Ice cube gains heat and the soda loses heat.
         b. Both the ice cube and the soda looses heat
         c. Both the ice cube and the soda gains heat
         d. The ice cube gains heat and the soda loses heat.

Revised 5/13/08                       47