Physical Science Logo6th Grade (SCI) Physical Science Standards
[PS4] Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfers

SCI-MS.PS4.01 Use mathematical representations to describe a simple model for waves that includes how the amplitude of a wave is related to the energy in a wave.

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on describing waves with both qualitative and quantitative thinking.
Disciplinary Core Ideas
PS4.A: Wave Properties A simple wave has a repeating pattern with a specific wavelength, frequency, and amplitude.

Student Learning Targets:

Knowledge Targets

  • I can define amplitude, energy, wavelength, frequency, etc.
  • I can define a wave, wave crest/peak, wave trough/valley, etc.

Reasoning Targets

  • I can describe the difference between a longitudinal and transverse wave.
  • I can characterize physical waves by frequency, wavelength, and amplitude.

Skills (Performance) Targets

  • I can apply these properties to the pitch and volume of sound waves and to the wavelength and magnitude of water waves.
  • I can calculate the change in the energy of a wave given the change in the amplitude.

Product Targets

  • I can create a wave of given amplitude.
  • I can create a wave with quadruple the energy of a given wave.

Proficiency Scale

The Student can ...
1 Beginning
... with help, demonstrate a partial understanding of some of the simpler details and processes (Score 2.0 content) and some of the more complex ideas and processes (Score 3.0 content).
  • descriptors
2 Developing
... demonstrate no major errors or omissions regarding the simpler details and processes but exhibits major errors or omissions regarding the more complex ideas and processes (Score 3.0 content).
  • Key Vocabulary: Crest, Trough, Frequency, Amplitude, Speed, Wavelength, Transverse, Longitudinal, Electromagnetic, Mechanical, Rest
3 Proficient
“The Standard.”
... demonstrate no major errors or omissions regarding any of the information and processes that were end of instruction expectations.
  • predict the effects of changing frequency, wavelength and amplitude
  • explain the relationship between amplitude and energy. (If energy increases, amplitude increases)
Sample Activity:
Use snakey springs/slinky to demonstrate how waves transfer energy

4 Advanced
... demonstrate in-depth inferences and applications regarding more complex material that go beyond end of instruction expectations.
  • descriptors



  • Crest
  • Trough
  • Frequency
  • Amplitude
  • Speed
  • Wavelength
  • Transverse
  • Longitudinal
  • Electromagnetic
  • Mechanical
  • Rest


  • Title of website with a URL to open in a new window

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