Patterns to Transmit Information | Morse Code Activity| NGSS 4-PS4-3

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Students will use patterns to communicate with each other in this fun and engaging unit! Patterns can be used to transfer information! Students will design a solution for transmitting information by using patterns. Students will generate and compare multiple solutions that use patterns to transfer information. The unit begins by looking at the phenomena of patterns in nature. Students will communicate using patterns with easy-to-find materials.

This resource includes four exciting hands-on activities to address this tricky standard.

NGSS 4-PS4-3 Generate and compare multiple solutions that use patterns to transfer information.

This resource is designed to meet the Disciplinary Core Idea: NGSS 4-PS4-3 Waves and their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer.

This resource is also aligned with Utah SEEd 4.3.3 Design a solution to an information transfer problem using wave patterns. Define the problem, identify criteria and constraints, develop possible solutions using models, analyze data from testing solutions, and propose modifications for optimizing a solution. Examples could include using light to transmit a message in Morse code or using lenses and mirrors to see objects that are far away. (PS4.C, ETS1.A, ETS1.B, ETS1.C)

Students will learn four different methods for transmitting information by using patterns and then they will compare the four.

For more ideas on using patterns to communicate see this post.

Students will learn about Morse Code, how it works, and how they can use it to send a message. They will also consider why it is no longer being used. Students will create their own simple telegraph machine using a simple electrical circuit and use it to send and receive messages. Materials needed for this include a battery, electrical wire, electrical tape, and a light bulb.

Students will also learn about QR Codes by using QR Codes. For this lesson access to the internet and some type of device with a FREE QR code reader will be needed. One for each group of students is plenty.

The other two lessons use simple household materials or school supplies like an eraser, pencil, flashlight, etc.

Each lab on communicating with patterns includes response pages as well as answer keys.

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These resources are created by Lynda R. Williams at Teaching Science

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This resource completely covers this hard to address standard for 4th grade:

NGSS 4-PS4-3 Generate and compare multiple solutions that use patterns to transfer information.

For NGSS 4th Grade

Next Generation Science Standards

By Lynda R. Williams

Teaching Science With Lynda

Please see my other resources for 4th grade NGSS:

Fossil Unit NGSS 3-LS-4 and 4-ESS1-1

Circuit Electricity Complete STEM Science Unit

Total Pages
34 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
4 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Generate and compare multiple solutions that use patterns to transfer information. Examples of solutions could include drums sending coded information through sound waves, using a grid of 1’s and 0’s representing black and white to send information about a picture, and using Morse code to send text.


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