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Influence of Waves, Grade 1: STEM Road Map for Elementary School

edited by: Carla C. Johnson, Janet B. Walton, and Erin Peters-Burton

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What if you could challenge your first graders to create instruments they can play in their own “Show Me the Waves” musical show? With this volume in the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series, you can!

Influence of Waves outlines a journey that will steer your students toward authentic problem solving while grounding them in integrated STEM disciplines. Like the other volumes in the series, this book is designed to meet the growing need to infuse real-world learning into K–12 classrooms.

This interdisciplinary module uses project- and problem-based learning to help young children explore cause and effect. It introduces them to the concept of waves as disturbances that travel through space and substances to transfer energy. Students will draw on physical and biological science, mathematics, engineering, and English language arts to do the following:

• Discover that there are different types of waves, such as water and sound, that come from different sources and travel in various ways.
• Find out that eyes, ears, and skin respond to sound and light.
• Use technology to gather research and communicate.
• Design, test, and evaluate models to demonstrate how people experience and interact with sound and light.
• Put on a show that combines voices and flashlights with guitars and drums they’ve made themselves to demonstrate how sound waves and light can be used to communicate and entertain.

The STEM Road Map Curriculum Series is anchored in the Next Generation Science Standards, the Common Core State Standards, and the Framework for 21st Century Learning. In-depth and flexible, Influence of Waves can be used as a whole unit or in part to meet the needs of districts, schools, and teachers who are charting a course toward an integrated STEM approach.

Table of Contents

About the Editors and Authors


Part 1: The STEM Road Map: Background, Theory, and Practice

1 Overview of the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series

Standards-Based Approach

Themes in the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series

The Need for an Integrated STEM Approach

Framework for STEM Integration in the Classroom

The Need for the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series


2 Strategies Used in the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series

Project- and Problem-Based Learning

Engineering Design Process

Learning Cycle

STEM Research Notebook

The Role of Assessment in the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series

Self-Regulated Learning Theory in the STEM Road Map Modules

Safety in STEM


Part 2: Influence of Waves: STEM Road Map Module

3 Influence of Waves Module Overview

Module Summary

Established Goals and Objectives

Challenge or Problem for Students to Solve: Show Me the Waves Challenge

Content Standards Addressed in This STEM Road Map Module

STEM Research Notebook

Module Launch

Prerequisite Skills for the Module

Potential STEM Misconceptions

SRL Process Components

Strategies for Differentiating Instruction Within This Module

Strategies for English Language Learners

Safety Considerations for the Activities in This Module

Desired Outcomes and Monitoring Success

Assessment Plan Overview and Map

Module Timeline



4 Influence of Waves Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan 1: Let’s Explore Waves!

Lesson Plan 2: Sounds Like Fun!

Lesson Plan 3: Lighting It Up!

Lesson Plan 4: Show Me the Waves Challenge

5 Transforming Learning With Influence of Waves and the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series

Appendix A: STEM Research Notebook Templates

Appendix B: Lesson Assessments and Assessment Rubric

Appendix C: Content Standards Addressed in This Module


Download a sample chapter

Grade Levels



Curriculum Instructional Materials Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans Physical Science Physics STEM Teaching Strategies


Type NSTA Press BookPub Date 11/15/2019Pages 185ISBN 978-1-68140-504-9Stock # PB425X19

NSTA Press produces classroom-ready activities, hands-on approaches to inquiry, relevant professional development, the latest scientific education news and research, assessment and standards-based instruction.

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