Waves of Life
Pinellas County Schools

Students will examine the “highs” and “lows” in their lives by comparing these to the parts of a wave. In the process, students will gain self-awareness and a greater understanding of the parts of a wave.

Students will discuss the parts of waves, their frequency and wavelength using emotions to better understand the concepts.
Students only need a pencil and paper for this lesson. A large sheet of blank, unlined paper will work best.
1. Ask students, “What do you think of when I say we are going to study waves?” Listen to their responses.
2. Make a wave with the students standing and sitting from one side of the class to the other. Then from one side of the class to the other and back again.
3. Tell students we are going to draw that wave. Teacher draws on the overhead or board and students draw on their papers.
4. Have students label the crest, trough, and wavelength.
5. Talk about the highest point of the wave (crest). Relate it to some high points in our lives where we were very happy, very proud, very satisfied with ourselves.
6. Tell the students that we are going to make a kind of wave timeline.
7. Ask students to try to remember the first high point in their life. Tell them to turn their paper over with the holes on the top so they have lots of room for the wave timeline. They should begin by drawing a crest at the far left of the paper and labeling it with the first high point in their life. Tell them to include either the date or their age at that time.
8. Now discuss how the lowest point of the wave (trough) correlates to the low points in our lives when we were quite unhappy, discouraged, scared.
9. When students have thought of their first low point in their life, have them think of how long it was after the first high point. If it was a short period of time in between, they should draw the trough close to the crest; if there was a lot of time in between, they should draw the trough away from the crest. They will then label the trough as to what it represents including date and/or age.
10. They should continue with crest – high point – then trough – low point – across the page.
11. Emphasize that this is very personal and does not have to be shared with anyone.
Students should complete their wave timelines and may be given credit for doing so but due to the personal nature of the assignment, the teacher may wish not to collect them.