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Light & Optics Unit

Becky McCoy

Lesson Title: Ray Model v. Wave Theory Battle

Timing: 50 Minutes

Target Audience:
High School Conceptual Physics Course (9th-12th grade)

Students Will Be Able To:
• Articulate the arguments for light as both a wave and ray model.

The Teacher Will Be Able To:

• Assess students’ understanding of the unit.

Standards Assessed: New York State, The Physical Setting

4.3g Electromagnetic radiation exhibits wave characteristics. Electromagnetic wave scan propagate
through a vacuum.
4.3h When a wave strikes a boundary between two media, reflection, transmission, and absorption occur.
A transmitted wave may be refracted.

Misconception(s) Addressed:
At this point, student misconceptions should be corrected.

Prior Knowledge: All content discussed throughout this unit.

Aim: Understand the arguments for both the wave and ray model explaining the nature of light.

Concept Map Vocabulary:

• Students should have an understanding of entire concept map.

Necessary Preparation:
• Battle! Rubrics


Light & Optics Unit
Becky McCoy

Lesson Plan

Aim: Understand the arguments for both the wave and ray model explaining the nature of light.

Physics Push-Up: Team Conference (10 minutes)

Students gather into Ray Model and Light Model groups and discuss their arguments. Each group must
provide the following:
• 2 physical phenomena that provide evidence for their model.
• 1 drawing that demonstrates their strongest argument.
• 1 example of another law in Physics that supports their argument.
• 2 questions for the other team.
• 1 theory that explains the flaw in their model.

Activity: Battle (35 minutes)

• Class notes and research from homework.

• Each team has equal time to share their arguments and ask questions. Time parameters should be
established before debate/battle begins and teacher should be responsible for keeping track of
time elapsed.

Activity Summary: Rubrics (5 minutes)

Students should fill out rubrics.

Final project due next class.

Exit Strategy:
Each student should decide which team won the battle/debate. They should write the team’s name down
and one sentence describing their decision.

Extension Activity:
The battle/debate will take the entire class period.

• Rubrics
• Sentences students use to choose winner
Light & Optics Unit
Becky McCoy

Lesson designed by Andrew Schlendorf

Notes & Adaptations:

Light & Optics Unit
Becky McCoy

Battle Rubric
Score your team by circling the appropriate boxes.
Place an “X” over the box to give the other team a score.
Levels of Performance

Criteria 1 2 3 4
1. Organization and Unclear in most Clear in some Most clear and Completely clear
Clarity: parts parts but not over orderly in all and orderly
all parts presentation
viewpoints and responses are
outlined both clearly and

2. Use of Arguments: Few or no Some relevant Most reasons Most relevant

relevant reasons reasons given given: most reasons given in
reasons are given to support given relevant support

3. Use of Examples and Few or no Some relevant Many Many relevant

Facts: relevant examples/facts examples/facts supporting
supporting given given: most examples and facts
examples and facts are given examples/facts relevant given
to support reasons.

4. Use of Rebuttal: No effective Few effective Some effective Many effective

counter- counter- counter- counter-arguments
arguments made by the other arguments made arguments made arguments made made
teams are responded to and
dealt with effectively.

5. Presentation Style: Few style features Few style features All style features All style features
were used; not were used were used, most were used
tone of voice, use of gestures, convincingly convincingly convincingly convincingly
and level of enthusiasm are
convincing to audience.