— Using Film Clips from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Subject: Science & Technology — Physics — harmonic motion, waves;
Ages: 10+ Late Elementary to High School;
Length: Film Clips: Pirates of the Caribbean – At World's End: three minutes 30 seconds; Tacoma Bridge Collapse Video on YouTube: four minutes 13 seconds. Lesson: Playing the snippets and discussing the examples of harmonic motion described in the Helpful Background section will take about 40 minutes.
Excerpts from the Snippet Lesson Plan
Learner Outcomes/Objectives: Students will learn about resonance and be able to recognize it in everyday occurrences.
Rationale: The sequence from the film Pirates of the Caribbean – At World's End offers a spectacular fictional example of the use of resonance to tip over an entire pirate ship. This allows teachers to introduce or review this concept from physics and relate it to real-life examples, including the Tacoma Bridge Collapse of 1940. Resonance is also an interesting way to introduce harmonic motion and concepts such as amplitude and frequency.
Description of the Film Clips: Jack Sparrow and the rest of the crew of the ship known as the Black Pearl try to follow a map with cryptic instructions. Jack Sparrow suddenly realizes that they need to tip the ship over. He gets his shipmates to join an effort to rock the ship by running back and forth from port to starboard at the exact regular intervals that amplify the oscillation until the ship capsizes.
A dramatic real life instance of resonance is the famous Tacoma Bridge collapse of 1940. This film clip on YouTube shows footage from before and during the collapse of the bridge.
Resonance is a phenomenon that can occur in association with any movement that repeats itself at regular intervals. Examples are vibrations, oscillations, waves, and motion in closed trajectories, such as circles. These are all instances of harmonic motion.
Without knowing of the term "resonance" or its underlying physics, people have a sense of what constitutes harmonic motion. When children play on a swing (which is essentially a pendulum with a seat for a child), they instinctively know when to give the swing added momentum by moving their hanging legs forwards or backwards and tipping their bodies in the opposite direction. When a parent or a friend pushes a child on a swing, they also intuitively know that a slight push will have most effect if given immediately after the apogee of the swinging motion. . . .
[The complete Snippet Lesson Plan provides additional helpful background on resonance and waves, including links to Internet sites providing graphic examples of the concepts surrounding harmonic motion and waves.]
USING THE FILM CLIPS IN THE CLASSROOM
1. Review the two film clips suggested for this lesson plan and make sure that they are suitable for the class.
2. Review the links referenced below; pick those that are appropriate for the class and the lesson. Decide when to present them to the class.
3. Become familiar with the location of the two segments and cue the DVD to the beginning of the first segment. Assemble all other materials necessary for the class.
Step by Step
1. Introduce the first clip by providing the following information through a lecture or a student handout. The handout can be created by copying and pasting the text into a file in a word processing program, deleting any instructions, and adapting it to the needs of the class.
[The complete Snippet Lesson Plan provides additional steps necessary to complete the lesson.]
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This Snippet Lesson Plan will provide students with several examples of resonance and harmonic motion in daily life.
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