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W is for Waves. Light, Sound, and Astronomy Case Study

Student hearing project
Light drawing
Students learn in class
Students use cup "telephone"

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School(s): Cayuga Heights Elementary School, Laurie Pattington
Grade(s): First Grade
Subject(s): Reading, Writing, Science

Essential Questions

Why do we hear sound?
Why do we see light?
How do we relate to the whole world?
What objects are in the sky and how do they move?

Case Study At A Glance

First-grade students at Cayuga Heights Elementary School conducted experiments using materials such as flashlights, laser pointers, mirrors, tuning forks and stereo speakers. Students created their own light and sound devices such as cardboard cameras and kazoos. Students listened to Astronomy read aloud from NY Astronomy 1st-grade Module.  Students created Journals chronicling their investigations. The unit culminated with the creation of a classroom book, W is for Waves: An A to Z Guide to Light Sound and Astronomy.

Standards Addressed/Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can observe and describe how sound is made
  • I can explain how people communicate over long distances
  • I can describe how animals hear sound
I can show where light comes from
  • I can observe and describe how light sources illuminate different objects
  • I can observe and describe how different materials interact with light
  • I can observe and describe the light of the sun, moon and stars
  • I can describe how animals see light.
I can write to explain an idea
  • I can organize my writing by naming the topic and wrapping it up
  • I can use powerful words
  • I can include details
  • I can use punctuation and capital letters to make my writing clearer  


Anchor Texts

Sounds All Around by Wendy Pfeffer
Day Light, Night Light by Wendy Pfeffer


Other Suggested Texts/ Resources

My Five Senses by Aliki
Fireflies by Julie Brinckloe
Nothing Sticks Like a Shadow by Ann Tompert'
Sounds All Around by Wendy Pfeffer
Day Light, Night Light by Wendy Pfeffer
Bugs A to Z by Caroline Lawton
Comets, Stars, the Moon and Mars: Space Poems and Paintings by Douglas Florian
Me and my Place in Space by Joan Sweeney