NGSS Waves: Transverse Vs. Longitudinal Lab Close Reading Editable PowerPoint



Students will have a blast with this lab and gain a deep understanding of the properties of transverse and longitudinal waves! AND! The only materials involved are Slinkys! By the time my students do this lab they have a solid understanding of the vocabulary. However, I provide the key words/vocabulary as a scaffold in case your students haven’t been introduced to those concepts. You could assign the list as homework or you can use the PowerPoint as a lecture while they write down the definitions.

As a class we do popcorn reading of the close notes, have a class discussion and address any possible misconceptions. Using the PowerPoint, students then fill in the Venn Diagram, draw and label the transverse and longitudinal wave on their handout. We then discuss the Venn Diagram and the drawings as a class. I recommend you use the PowerPoint for the two animations. It really helps students get a deeper understanding of how the two different waves travel.

I then discuss the “Slinky Promise.” It is important to emphasis how to properly handle the Slinkys, because they break very easily. I have to watch every group for the whole time that they are modeling the two different types of waves. Discussing the “Slinky Promise” really helps students understand how fragile they are and it helps with classroom management.

In terms of classroom management, you have some options. You can show slide #5 and let them start. If you want it more structured, which is what I recommend, use slides 6-13. Start with slide 6, describe what they need to do and they then model only a transverse wave with a large amplitude. Give them about 3-5 minutes to do this and then move on to the next slide. When all the different types of waves have been simulated, the Slinkys are carefully put away and students then start the questions on their handout. Total time is 60 minutes from the reading, to the lab and to finishing the questions. If you were to lecture before the lab, I would add 20 minutes.

This product Includes the following:

-Transverse Vs Longitudinal Waves Close Reading

-Editable PowerPoint for Classroom Management

-Detailed Teacher Notes

-Key Vocabulary List and key with definitions -Lab Procedure -Student handout -Student Handout Answer Key

Includes the following concepts:

-Longitudinal wave

-Transverse wave







Includes the Following NGSS Standards:

PS4.A: Wave Properties

• A simple wave has a repeating pattern with a specific wavelength, frequency, and amplitude. (MS-PS4-1)

• A sound wave needs a medium through which it is transmitted. (MS-PS4-2)

• Because light can travel through space, it cannot be a matter wave, like sound or water waves. (MS-PS4-2)

Developing and Using Models

-Modeling in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to developing, using, and revising models to describe, test, and predict more abstract phenomena and design systems.

• Develop a model to describe phenomena. (MS-PS4-2)

Patterns & Structure and Function

• Graphs and charts can be used to identify patterns in data. (MS-PS4-1)

• Structures can be designed to serve particular functions by taking into account properties of different materials, and how materials can be shaped and used. (MS-PS4-2)

• Structures can be designed to serve particular functions. (MS-PS4-3)


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