This project was developed in order for students to graph the tidal changes, but in particular to compare the tidal ranges between different days of the month. Students are given the option of either using the provided data, or for extra credit downloading their own data from the NOAA website of anywhere along the coastal US. Students love the choice and can pick a location that either they have been to, or somewhere they would like to go. Students that struggle with graphing can use the provided data from Menemsha, which has a relatively easy set of numbers to graph. Teachers will have to select dates in the Month that correspond with the New, Full, 1st Quarter Half, 3rd Quarter Half, and the following New Moon and have students graph those dates. On the first page have students fill in those dates into Direction #7.
In addition to creating a 4 or 5 line tide graph, this project has students answer questions about their graph to process the data. As with all my project, students self score their project before handing it in by reading through the rubric and giving themselves points for each part of the project. I have parts of the project due during the course of a week in order to scaffold the project.
A final assessment of the understanding of the tide project is done on the day the project is handed in. Once students have self scored the project, students answer an open response question (the T2 writing provided in this packet) about whether the graph supports the definition of the spring and neap tides from their notes (I have provided copies of these notes in the packet). Students write the response with their graph and their notebooks open, but in a quiz like setting. They have to give evidence from their graph in the form of dates and numbers (tidal ranges), as well as the Moon phases.
Students really do learn from this graph as well as enjoy the final product and the choice to find their own location. In addition, if students select areas that are very different such as Alaska, the tidal ranges can be very different and can lead to some interesting discussions about why tidal ranges vary at different latitudes.
Tide Graph Project
by Leah Dorr
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License