How Do Waves Move Objects?

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Students use what they have learned to develop questions about waves and begin to understand how waves transfer energy.

Big Idea

Using what they have observed about water waves & questioning, students continue to develop the vocabulary and begin to understand how waves transfer energy.

Ponder This...

15 minutes

The Driving Questions:  How do waves move objects? How does the increased force of the wave and higher amplitude move an object?  I wrote both of these on the white board so students would refer to them throughout the lesson. Today, I am working on the next level of understanding by scaffolding their learning through guiding them to develop more questions about waves. What do you wonder about when you looked at how waves moved the cork in our bottle the other day? What do you really know about waves? This powerful strategy helps students develop their thinking on a much deeper and differentiated level. It helps them individualize their learning in a richer way.

I opened up our discussion with asking, "How many different kinds of waves are there?" While I was searching for answers about sound, light, and possibly seismic waves, I realized that we were stuck in water! Storm waves and rough waves, etc was the answer from most. Waves meant ocean waves to them yet. I knew at this point that my plan of attack using questions was the right choice! I had to get them from this point to mastering the standards. Today the focus question was "How do waves move objects?" I wrote the question on the board. I used this short video to help them understand what other kinds of waves exist. It was a great way to introduce the concept of energy transfer in waves! We sat on the floor and watched the video, whole class.

I asked that they write more questions they may have about waves and pick three of them to ponder. Then, in their table groups I asked them to share three of their questions. Next, I gave them each a sticky note and asked them to write their questions on the sticky. We created a question board on the white board and shared each of the questions. Questions about waves were varied. There were several that I had never thought of. One student wondered if waves can ever be toxic? Another one wondered why they are called waves? Finally a question about another kind of wave surfaced. We hung them up as we shared and created a question board.

Expanding Our Understanding

10 minutes

 I wanted my students to extend their understanding today by looking at how the corks in their bottles from the Pop Bottle Waves and Hair Dryer Ripples lesson moved by studying where the cork was at a captured moment from the movies they shot. It was time to study how waves can move objects in more depth. As students worked in their original desk teams from the day before, I explained that the task was just like what we did in the lesson Catching the Wave.

Students worked again in their same teams from that lesson. They did the same process, except this time, I wanted them to focus on the cork. We reviewed the SB  Using What We Have Learned and Observed to Move On!, from yesterday's lesson so that they could remember the parts of the wave. I asked them to look at their drawings from yesterday and told them that the one thing that I wanted them to change was that they needed to use the 144 tempo to take three screen shots instead of focusing on three different tempos. I wanted them to notice how the cork moved.I told them that when they had their screen shots, they needed to draw them on plain paper, just as they had yesterday and label the crest, trough, wavelength and amplitude correctly. 

Students set to work, looking at their footage from the day before for the movies of the motion of the cork and the pop bottle waves. 

Finding Out That Waves Transfer Energy

20 minutes

As I roved the lab, I saw some really exciting things! It was a amazing to me to hear the excited dialogue, the collaboration and science thinking that was going on as they took their screen shots, observing the corks. 

They began to sketch and I interviewed them to find out what they were discovering. One student shared her discoveries very well. She was starting to notice how the wave moved the cork and that there was a pattern to the motion. We discussed why she thought this was. She mentioned that the cork had to move the direction of the push of the wave. She also said that she thought that the wave may pull the cork too.

They continued to draw. Cork movement was caught very well in their drawings as they were starting to think about the question: How do waves move objects? I asked more questions as I roved so that they were starting to think about how the energy is transferring and affecting the cork. I could tell it was time for us to wrap up as soon as I saw that drawings were done.

What Did We Learn?

10 minutes

To wrap up this lesson, I asked them if any of their questions on the board had been answered. One student raised his hand and shared that his question was if waves had the same motion every time? He said that he noticed that they moved in the bottle the same direction, picking up amplitude at the end. One student explained how she knew that waves can transfer energy. She did a great job explaining from her evidence and experience of the lesson. They were ready to move as we continue to build our understanding of how waves transfer energy from place to place.