Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Cause a Ripple in Science Class with Wave Poetry

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Cause a Ripple in Science Class with Wave Poetry

Article excerpt

When Most students think about waves, they think about the sea. The challenge for a science teacher is to encourage them to consider other wave phenomena, too.

I start by getting students to come up with words associated with waves by writing a cinquain - a five-line poem. The first line is the one-word title (in this case "waves"); the second consists of two verbs; the third has three adjectives; the fourth, a four-word sentence; and the fifth line is one word summarising the poem. An example might be:

Waves

Rolling, spreading

Fast, high, long

Small ones are ripples

Splash!

This activity gets students thinking about waves as being more than simply curls of water that can be used for surfing.

Next, I start building their knowledge of wave types. I hold up examples and ask, "What makes this a wave?"

You can make these very visual - for example, by showing light waves from a laser pointer and using talcum powder to make the laser visible. …

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