Waves Performance Assessment Part 1

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SWBAT use tools and materials to design and build a device that uses light or sound to solve the problem of communicating over a distance.

Big Idea

In this lesson, students use a variety of objects to participate in a partner activity and communicate using light and sound waves.


5 minutes


Most of my students are aware of Morse Code.  I show this alphabet video of Morse Code as a way to engage and hook students for the assessment (lesson).



Next, I ask students to guess or predict what my nonverbal signs communicate. I show students several signs like tapping my head and holding up three fingers, flashing a light on and off several times, train whistle with two long sound and 2 short sounds.  I then tell students that those could all be ways for saying hello or good morning. 

Next, I ask students to think of different ways they can say hi to their friends.  Some examples are: Hey, Good Morning, Howdy, showing a friendly smile, friendly wave, sign language for hi. Then I lead a brief discussion about how we can use different signs and signals to communicate over a distance.   




30 minutes

For the explore part of this assessment, students work with partners to come up with a way to test communicating two things.  Students will work to come up with a way to communicate "Go Away" and “Come Here!”  Students must be able to communicate the messages from across the room to each other. Students can use flashlights, forks, beakers, water, hand claps, or other materials that use light or sound in some way. 

This students practices making sounds with a cup and stick as her partner listens. 



 In this video, you can see two students working together to come up with their sounds and messages. 


15 minutes

After it appears that most students have some ideas about how to communicate "go away" and "come here" I  direct students to record their plan in their student notebooks. I direct students to be very specific so they will remember how to do carry out their code tomorrow, but also so specific that I could also replicate it. 

 You can see in this photograph, a student records what he/she will do for their signals. 


These students are practicing their different sounds.