Watch Class Movie
Lab sheet & activites
Watch Class Movie
Teacher Prep Movie
Lab Materials Needed
Blockey Koa Crate
from Kea STEMCrate
- 1 Springy Spring Scale per student
Student Lab Sheet
Instruction day 2 (pages 85 - 86): Read and discuss
Summary: Meet the author and solve the riddle!
Lesson Objective: Students are introduced to the article and what it is about. Students learn about the scientist who contributed to this article and her research interests.
Introduction: We’re starting a new article—let’s take a look at the cover image! What do you notice about the image? Where do you think it is?
Instructions: Read about scientist/author Danielle Peterson. Then, read the riddle aloud, and instruct students to write their answers before speaking them. Students discuss their best answer with a neighbor. Students will raise their hands to share their answers with the class and why they chose that answer. Reveal answer to “unlock” the chapter.
Ask: The title of this article is also a question: “What are waves? And what can they do?” Does anybody have ideas about what a wave is?
Example: Students will likely say something about the ocean or water. Try challenging them to come up with a definition that doesn’t use those words, and see what they can come up with in pairs!
Instruction day 3 (pages 87 - 88): Read and discuss
Color Key: Green words- Hands-on Activity Black words- Book reading Blue words: Revisit the Phenomenon
Summary: Read, discuss, demonstrate and watch a video.
Lesson Objective: Define and describe ocean waves.
Introduction: Last time we brainstormed how to define what a wave is—and today we’ll learn the answer scientists have come up with!
Instructions: Before class begins, set up each pair of students with a Miney cylinder filled halfway with water. Read the pages as a class, then challenge students to see how big
Ask: What did you do to make the biggest waves in your graduated cylinders?
Example: I blew really hard at a low angle!
Wrap-up: Watch this video clip compilation (1 minute long) of surfer Quincey Symonds (nickname The Flying Squirrel), a fifth grader in this video. Would you like to learn how to surf like that? What would your surfer nickname be?
Instruction day 4 (pages 89 - 90): Read and discuss
Summary: Read, discuss and watch a video.
Lesson objective: Students conceptualize the scale of the largest ocean waves.
Introduction: We watched a video of Quincey, the “Flying Squirrel,” surfing on ocean waves last time. But waves can get even bigger than the ones she surfs! How tall do you think waves in the ocean can get? Let students guess. (You can use yourself as a measuring tool—if you’re between 5 and 6 feet tall, you can tell students that a rogue wave might be about the height of 17 teachers stacked on top of one another!)
Instructions: Read about rogue waves, then watch the first part of this video showing physicist Dianna Cowern (from 0:08-0:50 1:12) describing rogue waves. (Next class, you can watch her explain more about how they can form!)
Ask: Why do you think scientists didn’t used to believe that rogue waves existed?
Example: They were far away in the ocean where not many people could see them and scientists need to collect more evidence than stories. Or, scientists maybe weren't very good at talking to other people and didn’t trust reports from non-scientists, like sailors!
Instruction day 5 (pages 91 - 92): Read, discuss, and write
Summary: Read, discuss and watch a video.
Lesson objective: Students define troughs, crests and amplitude.
Introduction: Start class off by getting students to do the wave! You start on one end of the classroom, and students you walk by (or point at) throw their arms in the air, then drop them after you pass by. Experiment with speeding up and slowing down. Optionally, you can add a sound effect (like saying “woo” or “whosh!”).
Instructions: Read pages 91 and 92, pausing at the bottom of each for students to answer the prompts then check their answers with a partner before confirming with the whole class that students should have counted 3 crests and 4 troughs on page 91, and that the giraffe and mouse made the same number of waves on page 92.
Then, continue watching physicist Dianna Cowern explain how scientists predict wave troughs and crests might form the giant rogue waves we learned about last time! Play the video segment from 0:44-1:12, then play it back again. (You may consider slightly slowing the playback speed, depending on how well your students are grasping the content.)
If you’ve ever jumped on a trampoline or in a bouncy house, you might have experienced wave crests combining to make a “double bounce,” where someone can jump really high in the air because waves from two different people bouncing on the material you’re jumping on combine together!
Ask: Do you think strong winds or mild winds would make waves with a bigger amplitude? Why?
Example: Strong winds would make waves have a large amplitude.
Ask: Could the mouse do anything to increase the amplitude of their waves? Do you think that would change the number of waves?
Example: The mouse could wiggle the string harder! That would make more waves.
Instruction day 6 (pages 93 - 94): Read, discuss, and write
Summary: Read, discuss and experiment.
Lesson objective: Students relate basic properties of waves and demonstrate their understanding.
Introduction: Last time we learned about a concept called amplitude! Who remembers what a wave’s amplitude describes? (If nobody remembers, you can remind them by making a big wave with your hand and a smaller wave—the answer someone should give is that amplitude describes a wave’s height!)
Instructions: Before class starts, get out lots of long pieces of string or rope. Read the pages as a class, pausing to let students fill in their journal questions when prompted. Then in pairs, students play and experiment with making waves of various wavelengths, amplitudes and speeds following the “Experiment With Waves” instructions.
Ask: If a wave has a short wavelength, do you think it has a high or low frequency?
Example: It would have a high frequency. The wave is moving fast!
Ask: If a wave has a big amplitude, like the one the giraffe made on the previous pages, do you think it needs to have a short or long wavelength?
Example: It could be either way! It just depends on whether the sound is high pitched or low pitched.
Instruction day 7 (pages 95 - 96): Read and discuss
Summary: Play a game, read, discuss and watch a movie.
Lesson Objective: Deepen comprehension of how matter moves as waves pass through it.
Introduction: You can start the lesson with a game! Get the class all standing in a circle (outside might be preferable, depending on your space.) Explain that you’re going to pass a wave around the circle by crouching down and pointing at the person next to you, which will make them crouch down (students should stand up once the wave has been passed on.) Once the wave makes it all the way around, try and do it faster, then initiate multiple waves at once by crouching and pointing again while a wave is partway around the circle. This should get the students loosened up and having fun!
Did you notice that even as the wave passed through the circle, none of you moved anywhere? We’re going to learn more about that!
Instructions: Read the journal pages as a class. Then, watch this demonstration of pendulum waves. The physics that explain these patterns is very complex, but students can watch that as the swinging pendulums form wave patterns of various amplitudes and frequencies, the individual pendulums will come back to the same spot they started once they stop swinging!
Instruction day 8 (pages 97 - 98): Read and discuss
Summary: Guide an activity, read and discuss.
Lesson Objective: Introduce students to the concept of waves that can travel through non-liquid matter, like sound waves.
Instructions: Read the pages as a class.
Ask: We’ve learned about waves in liquids, like waves in the ocean, and waves that can move through the air, like sound waves. Can anybody think of a wave that travels through solid matter?
Example: An earthquake is a wave that travels through miles and miles of rocks and earth!
Wrap up: Create a thunderstorm in your classroom! Have the class copy your hand motions, and walk them through softly rubbing their hands together, snapping and stomping under their desks before going through the same motions in reverse. The sound waves you make together as a class will imitate a storm passing over you and then moving away.
Instruction day 9 (pages 99 - 102): Read, write, and discuss
Summary: Read and complete the exercises.
Lesson Objective: Students relate wave characteristics to sound waves.
Introduction: To get warmed up, make sure each student has a Mezzie Measuring tape and ask them to sketch a wave with a wavelength of 12 centimeters. Explain to students that they just drew the exact length of a special kind of wave that moves invisibly through the air, like sound does, and that many people use it to heat up food. Allow students to guess what you’re talking about. Students might be surprised to learn that the wave they just sketched is the actual wavelength inside a microwave oven!
Instructions: Now the class will go back to focusing on sound waves. Read the pages as a class, pausing as you go to let students individually measure the amplitudes and wavelengths and fill in the prompts. After reading pages 99-100, let students check their answers with one another and make sure everyone agrees before moving on (it’s ok if their answers are slightly different!)
Give students time to complete the next two pages before asking for volunteers to share their answers with the class.
Ask: How does measuring the trough and crest of a wave relate to its amplitude?
Example: The amplitude is half of the distance between a trough and a crest!
Wrap-up: See who in the class can make the lowest-pitch (or longest wavelength) noise! You can challenge students to hum or sing a single noise, like “ahhh” (or if you prefer something humorous, a single word such as “cheese”) deeper and deeper until they reach their limit. Make sure students know they should stop if they feel any strain in their throats.
Instruction day 10 (pages 103 - 104): Read, discuss, and draw
Summary: Watch a video and sketch.
Lesson Objective: Students use what they learned about amplitude and wavelength to sketch sinusoidal waves representing the music of the corn dance.
Introduction: Ask students to share with a partner a sound that has special meaning to them. It can be music, or speech, or anything in the world that they can think of! Invite one or two students to share what they thought of with the class.
Instructions: Show students this video made by one of STEMTaught’s founders, then read the pages as a class.
Video: Corn Dance
Ask: Do you think a sound wave from the corn dance would have the same amplitude for one of the people playing the drum (right by where the sound is created) and one of the people on the edge of the ceremonial gathering?
Example: No, we know that the amplitude must get smaller and smaller because the sound gets quieter the further you are from where it was made.
Ask: Do you think a sound wave from the corn dance would have the same wavelength for one of the people playing the drum (right by where the sound is created) and one of the people on the edge of the ceremonial gathering?
Example: Yes, we know that the wavelength must stay the same because the sound has the same pitch whether you’re close or far away.
What are Waves?
Students are prompted to watch the Corn dance and Eagle dance on page 103 of the STEMTaught Journal.
Instruction day 11 (pages 105 - 107): STEM Concepts
Summary: Reflect, draw and make quiz cards.
Lesson Objective: Students review key concepts they learned about waves.
Introduction: We already finished learning about waves! Turn to a partner and share what the most interesting thing you learned about waves was. (After giving them time to talk, invite students to share with the class what their partner found most interesting, and see if any students came up with similar answers!)
Instructions: Get out scissors for each student before you start the lesson. Students draw pictures of each of the concepts written in the boxes. Then, they follow the instructions for cutting out and creating pop cards they can use to review and test themselves on important concepts about waves. (Optional: Play this relaxing ocean waves sound while students draw, cut and fold!)