Waves Teacher Resources

Find Waves educational ideas and activities

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Mr. Khan uses a metaphor of a car to help explain the change in direction of waves as they hit a boundary between two mediums. He then goes on to explain the relationship between the structure and density of the earth and the behavior of waves after an earthquake.
Use a video on seismic waves to explain the differences between s and p waves, as well as the details that they provide about the composition of the rock.
Light waves and sound waves are the focus of this science lesson designed for 5th graders. Besides discovering how these waves travel, learners also discover the basic properties of waves, and analyze data tables and graphs. The demonstrations described in the lesson are particularly rich, and should lead to lots of scientific discussion. Longitudinal and transverse waves are both demonstrated for pupils.
Starting with a very clear diagram to demonstrate how a wave actually forms, an informative video will be a great summary about s wave travel. It explains the difference between polar bonds in liquids versus the stronger ionic and covalent waves.
Pair physical science learners up, and have one describe a transverse wave while the other blindly attempts to draw it. Then reveal an actual diagram and explain the different parts of the wave: crest, trough, wavelength. Though most of the links in the resource lead to nowhere, there is one that displays an adjustable wave simulation for learners to experiment with. This unique activity can serve as the anticipatory activity to your unit on wave motioin.
Your class will generate their own data relating the number of people to the time it takes to do a human wave. Once data is collected, a line of best fit is found and used to estimate how long it would take for the entire student body to produce one cycle of the wave in the school gym. How fun would it be to actually have your school do the wave and compare the actual time to the calculated estimate!
This wave and electromagnetism assignment is so thorough, it could be used as a unit exam. The first section of it covers wave concepts. The next section addresses static electricity. There is a section that deals with electric circuits. Finally, the worksheet finishes off with magnetism, specifically electromagnetic induction. Though many of the questions require problem solving and computation, the answers are presented as multiple choice. Neat diagrams are included in many of the questions.
Students predict and test how the effects of velocity and force of an object or air on water affect the waves created. They diagram a water park ride using their knowledge of these effects to create their desired outcomes.
Students investigate the behavior and different origins of tsunami waves, and they then research and chart the path of certain tsunamis from recent history using the Internet, maps and firsthand accounts.
Learners examine the tsunami of 2004. They look at what created the wave, the destruction it caused, and the needs of the survivors. Pupils utilize an interactive website that sheds further light on the causes of tsunamis and the types of organizations that assist the survivors. The lesson is packed with great activities, worksheets, a quiz, and a terrific culminating activity.
Students distinguish waves from matter, differentiate between transverse and longitudinal waves, use sine curves as representations of transverse waves, label characteristic properties of waves, diagram transverse waves having specific properties, and explain relationships among various wave properties. Students then solve problems involving measurable properties of waves, and gather, evaluate and interpret lab data related to wave properties.
Students explore sound waves. In this sound waves lesson, students brainstorm different sounds and how sounds move or travel. Students then create a KWL chart and work through six different lab activities to examine how sound waves travel through different objects.
Fifth graders investigate how sound and light travel as waves and identify the basic properties of waves by analyzing data tables and graphs. They observe a transverse wave using a slinky, and analyze a sine wave. They define key vocabulary terms and draw the wave picture and label the parts, including the definitions.
Physics masters figure out the wavelength of different waves. Looking at a wave graph, they identify different characteristics. Many more problems get them working with both electromagnetic and sound waves. There are a total of 17 multiple choice questions on the topic of waves.
Students use the internet to research how waves are formed. Using construction paper, they create a diorama in which they can see how waves are formed and end. To end the lesson, they also discuss the causes and effects of earthquakes and tsunamis on the water.
During a lesson on wave motion, physical science participants basically act out the waves as a group. Through their movements, the amplitude, speed, frequency, and wavelength are all identified. Ideas for modeling the reflection and seismic waves are also suggested. What a splendid method of getting middle schoolers involved in the lesson!
An incredibly colorful PowerPoint presents all the facts and definitions about waves that you could need for beginning physical scientists. There are several useful links to online animations of wave action. This may have been produced by a student, but it is still a nice piece that states the important information clearly and will definitely keep the attention of your class. You may want to prepare a question sheet with a sequence related directly to this slide show.
It's quite a write up for a simple demonstration! Connect a nylon cord to an electric drill and generate waves. Explain that wavelength can vary according to the amount of energy added. Questions are included that you can use to guide the discussion of electromagnetic radiation and waves. Variation ideas are included to give you options if you do not have a drill handy.
Your high schoolers examine various types of electromagnetic waves and create a chart of the spectrum. They watch a video segment and use an interactive activity that explains the range of the spectrum and common sources of electromagnetic waves.
Students explore sound waves. In this sound wave instructional activity, students determine the path traveled by sound waves in an acoustic room. Students consider how sound travels and reflects, then they calculate the rate sound travels at.