Monday, 13 January 2014

My Favorite Lesson to Teach: Why are Bubbles so Colorful?

I am SO excited!  Tomorrow I teach my favorite lesson in all of high school!
Why are Bubbles so Colorful?



Why is this my favorite lesson?

1. We start off by playing with bubbles in the courtyard of the school.  The students, though they are 17-18 years old LOVE that they get to blow bubbles!



2. It sounds easy, but it actually draws on my Grade 12 Physics students' understanding of concepts from Optics in Grade 10 Science and Waves in Grade 11 Physics.  Without those you really can't understand why bubbles are so colorful.


3. The entire lesson is written in sidewalk chalk.  I got out before class and set-up what the kids already have in their notes and then we add to it with the sidewalk chalk.


4. It draws from partial-reflection/partial-refraction in Grade 10 Science, one of my favorite concepts in that unit.



5. And from waves in Grade 11, another very fun unit!
6. There is room for puns... "Springtime review" is taking out the giant springs (think monster Slinkys) and review the boundary behavior.


7.  And you can write really big... and be silly.



8. They even have personalized examples based on the color (wavelength) of their chalk. 





9. The sidewalk chalk stays until it rains, so my lesson is visible to the entire school for a week or more, and students and staff will stop and go through the lesson as they walk between buildings.

Now, because it is winter I will have to make some adjustments, but I am still so excited to teach 17 & 18 year-old students why bubbles are colorful.  Ah, the joys of being a Physics teacher <3

What is your favorite lesson to teach?  Let me know in the comments :)

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