Investigating Wave Types &Traits— Sound & Waves Study—Writing Prompts

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Two lab experiments exploring wave types and traits. Designed for students and optimized for teachers, these labs will engage and fascinate students. Scaffolded writing prompts allow students of different abilities to engage with the same content. What are the two types of waves and where can you find them? How can you measure the wavelength, amplitude and frequency of each? Watch your students become scientists as they dig into these questions.

By starting with the scientific phenomena, you'll be intrigued and excited to dig deeper into the why’s and how’s of each scientific concept. Beautifully illustrated and well laid out, these lab activities are easy to use from the very first page. Experiments are clearly organized and written to the student so they do not need to be pre-digested by a teacher before beginning. Helpful tips throughout the experiments and the Teacher Notes leave the reader in no doubt about how to perform or understand an experiment.

Both the teacher and the student are addressed so no additional books are needed. Engaging Science Labs are useful for classroom or homeschool environments.

• MS-PS4-1. Use mathematical representations to describe a simple model for waves that includes how the amplitude of a wave is related to the energy in a wave. Emphasis is on describing waves with both qualitative and quantitative thinking.] Assessment does not include electromagnetic waves and is limited to standard repeating waves.]
• MS-PS4-2. Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials. Emphasis is on both light and mechanical waves. Examples of models could include drawings, simulations, and written descriptions.] Assessment is limited to qualitative applications pertaining to light and mechanical waves.]

Virginia VA SOL
• PS.1 The student will demonstrate an understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and the nature of science by planning and conducting investigations in which
m) models and simulations are constructed and used to illustrate and explain phenomena;
• PS.6 The student will investigate and understand forms of energy and how energy is transferred and transformed. Key concepts include
b) mechanical, chemical, electrical, thermal, radiant, and nuclear energy.
• PS.8 The student will investigate and understand the characteristics of sound waves. Key concepts include
a) wavelength, frequency, speed, amplitude, rarefaction, and compression;
c) the nature of compression waves;
• PS.9 The student will investigate and understand the characteristics of transverse waves. Key concepts include
a. wavelength, frequency, speed, amplitude, crest, and trough;

UK National Curriculum Key Stage 3
Phy: Waves: Observed Waves
• waves on water as undulations which travel through water with transverse motion; these waves can be reflected, and add or cancel – superposition.
Phy: Waves: Energy and Waves
• pressure waves transferring energy; use for cleaning and physiotherapy by ultra-sound; waves transferring information for conversion to electrical signals by microphone.
Phy: Waves: Sound Waves
• frequencies of sound waves, measured in hertz (Hz); echoes, reflection and absorption of sound
Phy: Waves: Sound Waves
• sound produced by vibrations of objects, in loud speakers, detected by their effects on microphone diaphragm and the ear drum; sound waves are longitudinal

Topics Addressed
• There are two types of waves, longitudinal and transverse
• Both types of waves can be demonstrated in the laboratory
• Sound is a longitudinal wave
• Waves transmit energy not matter
• A medium is required for these types of waves

Materials Needed
plastic Slinkies; rope; ribbon; guitar; tuning forks; rice grains; bowls; plastic wrap; paint sticks, metal hanger, buttons, thread

Other resources
Click here to see companion curricular pieces:
Sound and Waves Curricular Collection

Answer Key
Extensive teacher notes address the many questions that come up. You shouldn’t have to do outside research on this topic unless you want to.

Time Required
The two lab activities will each take about 20–30 minutes.

Target Audience
Middle School Students, Ages 11-14

Student Sheets
• Scaffolded writing prompts & lab reporting

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Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 hour

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Investigating Wave Types &Traits— Sound & Waves Study—Writ
Investigating Wave Types &Traits— Sound & Waves Study—Writ
Investigating Wave Types &Traits— Sound & Waves Study—Writ
Investigating Wave Types &Traits— Sound & Waves Study—Writ