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STEPP Lesson Plan Form

Teacher: Molly MacDougall

Date: 9/16/15

Windsor High School
Content Area: Science
Title: Wave Exploration

Grade Level: High School

Lesson #: 1

Content Standard(s) addressed by this lesson:

directly from the standard)

(Write Content Standards

Standard: 2. Earth Systems Science

As part of the solar system, Earth interacts with various extraterrestrial
forces and energies such as gravity, solar phenomena, electromagnetic radiation,
and impact events that influence the planets geosphere, atmosphere, and
biosphere in a variety of ways
2. How does the earth get its energy?
3. How does the electromagnetic spectrum positively and negatively
impact Earths systems?
Understandings: (Big Ideas)
Electromagnetic radiation impacts and interacts with the different spheres in
positive and negative ways.
Inquiry Questions: (Essential questions relating knowledge at end of the unit of
instruction, select applicable questions from standard)
How do different types of EM radiation interact with matter?
Why are spent fuel rods from nuclear facilities stored in concrete?
How does the ozone interact with UV rays?
How does energy reach the bottom of the ocean? In what form?
Evidence Outcomes: (Learning Targets)
Every student will be able to: (Create your own lesson objectives from the
standard, follow the ABCD format, using student voice)
I can: communicate how the different electromagnetic waves impact the different
spheres on earth in positive and negative ways.
This means: I can provide examples of EM waves interacting with the 4 different
spheres on earth and determine if it has a negative, positive, or neutral affect.
List of Assessments: (Write the number of the learning target associated with
each assessment)
Completing the wave exploration assignment described below
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STEPP Lesson Plan Form

Exit ticket

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STEPP Lesson Plan Form

Planned Lesson Activities

Name and Purpose of Lesson
Should be a creative title for you and the
students to associate with the activity.
Think of the purpose as the mini-rationale
for what you are trying to accomplish
through this lesson.
Approx. Time and Materials
How long do you expect the activity to
last and what materials will you need?

Anticipatory Set
The hook to grab students attention.
These are actions and statements by the
teacher to relate the experiences of the
students to the objectives of the lesson,
To put students into a receptive frame of
To focus student attention on the
To create an organizing framework
for the ideas, principles, or
information that is to follow
(advanced organizers)
An anticipatory set is used any time a
different activity or new concept is to be
(Include a play-by-play account of what
students and teacher will do from the

Name: Wave Exploration

Purpose: to teach students how different frequencies of
electromagnetic radiation interact with the different spheres in a
negative or positive way.
Time: 45 minutes
HW notes sheet from last class
EM video (3 min)
Wave Exploration Handout
(minute 0-5) Warm-up questions:
Today were looking at the electromagnetic spectrum and how it
interacts with the different spheres on earth. Thinking about that,
answer these questions:
1. How are we able to listen to the radio indoors?
2. Why are spent fuel rods from nuclear facilities stored in
3. When you hold a flashlight under your hand, why does the light
look red?
(minute 5-8) Hook:
Class discussion on warm up questions. Ask students why they think
radio waves are able to travel through mountains but fuel rods cant
travel through concrete? Why red light can travel through your hand but
violet light cant?
First lets get a handle on the electromagnetic spectrum.
(minute 8-11) Instead of reviewing the powerpoint we used for
homework last night, well instead watch a 3 minute PBS video about

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STEPP Lesson Plan Form

minute they arrive to the minute they
leave your classroom. Indicate the length
of each segment of the lesson. List actual
Indicate whether each is:
-teacher input
-questioning strategies
-whole-class practice
-group practice
-individual practice
-check for understanding

where the spectrum originates and how the different waves differ. It
doesnt talk about absorption but it provides a great background on the
science of waves.
While this video is playing hand out absorption handout to each table
and walk around the back of the class to make sure the students arent
off track.
(minute 11-45) Once the video is done, say for the rest of class were
going to be doing a group activity. They will be explorers on a trip
around the world, starting way up in the stratosphere and ending up in
the deepest trenches of the earth and exploring the roles that the
different waves on electromagnetic spectrum play.
They will be completing the Zone assignment in their groups of 3 and
turning it in by the end of class. They will use their laptops for research
but there will be only one laptop per group and each person must
complete the worksheet in each group. Wave by wave they will be
looking up how the different waves impact different spheres on the
earth and if they have a positive/negative/neutral impact on that sphere
by citing examples. They will be listing the sources that they use and
refreshing their memory of the spheres learned in Unit 1.
While students are doing the activity I will be walking around stamping
their HW from last night and informally assessing the progress of each
group while clearing up misconceptions and leading students that are
working ahead to resources that will allow for them to deepen their
understanding on the subject like using the hyperphysics website to
allow they to explore how the different waves are adsorbed by matter.

Those actions or statements by a teacher
that are designed to bring a lesson
presentation to an appropriate conclusion.
Used to help students bring things
together in their own minds, to make
sense out of what has just been taught.

(minute 42-45) In the last 5 minutes of class I will walk around putting a
sticky note by each student on their desk and telling them not to use it
With 3 minutes left I will ask them to write their name of their sticky and
answer these questions ;

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STEPP Lesson Plan Form

Any Questions? No. OK, lets move on is
not closure. Closure is used:
To cue students to the fact that
they have arrived at an important
point in the lesson or the end of a
To help organize student learning
To help form a coherent picture and to
To modify: If the activity is too advanced
for a child, how will you modify it so that
they can be successful?
To extend: If the activity is too easy for a
child, how will you extend it to develop
their emerging skills?

How will you know if students met the
learning targets? Write a description of
what you were looking for in each

1. What was the most interesting thing you learned today?

2. What is the most confusing aspect of the electromagnetic
spectrum to you?
3. What would you like to learn further about the
electromagnetic spectrum?
They will provide me with an exit ticket on their way out the door.

If theyre further interested in how EM waves interact with matter I can

refer them to this website that would provide depth.
If students are having hard time reading through the handout I have
time to walk around the classroom to walk students through EM waves
Students are writing independently but researching as a group so they
should be thinking about interactions as a group. This should help
students level out their differentiation by using their different funds of
knowledge to think of examples and research capabilities. If a group is
really struggling I can have go to examples for each of the areas to help
guide them in research.
They will be turning in their worksheet at the end of class. They will be
told to finish at least one sphere example per wave though to cover all
the content. Accuracy and active group participation from in class will
be used to grade the assignment.
I will also be looking at their exit ticket for what content I might want to
resurface in later subjects because they found it interesting to create
neutral pathways and what content I should incorporate in future
lessons to fix any misconceptions.

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STEPP Lesson Plan Form

Post Lesson Reflection

1. To what extent were lesson objectives achieved? (Utilize
assessment data to justify your level of achievement)
This really varied depending upon the time of day. My first couple of lessons
really didnt achieve the lesson objective as evidence from the amount and
quality of their answers on the wave exploration sheet and as evidence from
what they found confusing about the electromagnetic spectrum on their exit
ticket (a lot of people answered all of it).
However, the afternoon classes responded much better because of better
front loading before the assignment was handed out, clearer explanations,
and small alterations. Many students almost completed the whole sheet even
though only of that was required and many students listed on their exit
ticket real confusions that werent covered by the worksheet and were higher
level thinking.
It is because of this disparity which is evidence of poor teaching that we
decided to grade it for credit.

2. What changes, omissions, or additions to the lesson would

you make if you were to teach again?
After talking about it with Paul at lunch, he said that would was thinking
about even keeping it for next year, but having it more guided of a
worksheet, saying for the biosphere he would keep it open ended but for the
other spheres he might provide a matching experiment. He also said he
would definitely use it as a homework piece because it would allow the
student to go at their own pace and would be interesting if the students go
their parents involved to include other personal experiences.
An addition was made mid-day to change it from a group research
assignment to an individual research assignment still performed in a group.
That means that each student was researching on their own computer but
were required to talk about it with their group collaboratively. It was
interesting how much more successful the assignment was when this was
The problem was this type of assignment is great for a depth exploration but
I designed it for breadth and that was really confusing for the students to feel
so unguided.

3. What do you envision for the next lesson? (Continued practice,

reteach content, etc.)
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STEPP Lesson Plan Form

I envision something that is more hands on and more guided to ease some
confusion that today caused for the students. Paul had a hands on lab
planned for the next day that was accompanied by a worksheet that the
students filled out with math components and answers that made students
more certain that they are learning the material right. I think that was a
perfect follow up to the assignment.

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