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Building Blocks of Science® A New Generation: Light and Sound Waves 2nd Edition 1-Use Unit Kit


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Grade 1. In 6 lessons spanning 19 class sessions, the Building Blocks of Science® unit Light and Sound Waves introduces students to the physical science concepts of light and sound, and that both phenomena travel in waves. In the first part of the unit, students use flashlights to explore and then discuss how light travels and how light interacts with different materials. Students collect evidence of these properties and interactions by manipulating the path of light and experimenting with several materials to see how light interacts with each. In the second part of the unit, students investigate sound and how sound travels. By creating different sounds and examining how the sound is produced, students trace the wave from the point at which it is created to the ear. To conclude the unit, students review what they know about light and sound and compare the similarities and differences.

Building Blocks of Science® lessons are structured in 30-minute class sessions, making it easy to fit science into your day. The Light and Sound Waves 1-Use Unit Kit includes a Teacher's Guide (item #514202A) and enough supplies and apparatus to teach the unit once to a class of up to 24 students.

Next Generation Science Standards®
The Building Blocks of Science® unit Light and Sound Waves, 2nd Edition, integrates process skills as defined by the Next Generation Science Standards®.

Performance Expectations

  • 1-PS4-1: Plan and conduct investigations to provide evidence that vibrating materials can make sound and that sound can make materials vibrate.
  • 1-PS4-2: Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that objects can be seen only when illuminated.
  • 1-PS4-3: Plan and conduct an investigation to determine the effect of placing objects made with different materials in the path of a beam of light.
  • 1-PS4-4: Use tools and materials to design and build a device that uses light or sound to solve the problem of communicating over a distance.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • PS4.A: Wave Properties
  • PS4.B: Electromagnetic Radiation
  • PS4.C: Information Technologies and Instrumentation

Science and Engineering Practices

  • Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
  • Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Crosscutting Concepts

  • Cause and Effect

This unit offers several ways to assess students, including a pre- and a post-unit assessment opportunity. Teachers can also use class discussions and charts to assess each lesson. Student activity sheets and science notebook entries—including drawings, writings, and dictated statements—can be used to gauge individual understanding of objectives and key vocabulary throughout the unit. The Assessment Observation Sheets supplied with each lesson help teachers document and measure students' progress and knowledge using informal assessment. A general rubric is provided to help teachers evaluate individual students at any point in the unit. The rubric provides a progression of skills and understanding that covers exploration, vocabulary, concept building, and notebook entries. Finally, a summative assessment gives students the opportunity to demonstrate unit-specific content knowledge by responding to questions in a variety of formats.

Lesson Summaries
Lesson 1: The Properties of Light

Students begin by holding a brainstorming session regarding what they know about light and its sources. They discuss how light is important for many reasons such as providing energy for living organisms and heating the earth. Students then make observations inside a pinhole box to determine that objects can be seen only when illuminated.
Lesson 2: Transparent, Translucent, Opaque
In this lesson, students investigate how light interacts with different materials. Students use a flashlight to compare how light travels through 3 types of materials and which materials cast a shadow. They record the information that they collect during several investigations in a working vocabulary book and on a Student Activity Sheet titled Transparent, Translucent, or Opaque? Students use these tools to assess their understanding of the concepts of clear (transparent), cloudy (translucent), and dark (opaque) objects.
Lesson 3: Reflection: Bouncing Beams
In the opening discussion, students recall that light travels in straight lines, discuss that light must enter the eye in order for an object to be seen, and speculate on how the direction in which a light beam shines might be changed. Students then participate in several activities to learn about the law of reflection. First, they use flashlights and mirrors to demonstrate reflection. Then, they explore how reflections change when observed using curved, flexible mirrors compared with plane mirrors. Finally, students begin developing an understanding about the line of reflection and extend this geometric concept using handprints and letters and multiple mirrors.
Lesson 4: Vibrations and Sound
In Lesson 4, the class shifts its focus from light to sound. In this introductory lesson on sound, students will see the relationship between waves and sound by observing vibrations on a drum. After observing that the vibrations cause sound waves, they will experiment and observe that the length of a vibrating object affects the sound that is produced.
Lesson 5: How Does Sound Travel?
To further develop the understanding that sound travels in waves, students use solid objects and string to demonstrate the movement of sound. Students experience a sound being transferred by waves directly to their ears and then listen for the sound of the vibrations from the same object to be transferred to their ear at the other end of a string. Students then use a device through which they can transmit voice waves.
Lesson 6: Communicating with Light and Sound
In this final lesson, students learn about different forms of communication and develop the understanding that all communication requires a transmitter, receiver, and code to transfer information. Students work in pairs to apply what they have learned in the unit to design and build a communication device that uses either light or sound. Once they have constructed their device, they will demonstrate how their device works to the class and describe ways they might improve on their design.


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What’s Included:
  • 1 Teacher’s Guide
  • 1 Unit Technology Pack (includes digital access to teacher’s guide and digital student access to student reader)
  • Light and Sound Waves Student Reader
  • 12 Flashlight, Standard, with Battery
  • 12 Mirror, Unbreakable, 4 x 6”
  • 1 Ball, Inflatable, 5”
  • 15 Rubber Sheet, Synthetic, 6 x 6”
  • 48 Cup with Lid, 1 oz
  • 25 Cup, Plastic, Squat, 9 oz
  • 1 Wrap, Plastic, Roll
  • 1 Paper, Waxed, 75-ft Roll
  • 12 Box, #128, 8 x 8 x 6”
  • 1 Craft Paint, Blue, Washable, 4 oz
  • 16 Tube, Cardboard, 5 x 15 cm
  • 25 Cup, Paper, 6 oz
  • 1 Twine, Cotton, Household, Roll
  • 15 Rubber Band, #16
  • 32 Rubber Band, #32
  • 16 Rubber Band, #64
  • 20 Paper, Construction, Black, 9 x 12”
  • expand to see full list
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