Activity Overview

One fun and easy way to remember the order of the different radiation types is by using this mnemonic: Red monkeys in vans use x-ray glasses”. It's also fun when your students come up with their own! In this activity, students will create an EM Spectrum chart. They should include the uses and dangers of each type of radiation, and can create their own mnemonic. Students can use the chart they created as review, and this activity can be completed at the beginning or the end of a unit.

This activity can easily be differentiated and modified for your students by removing rows and deleting or adding information. Cut up the example chart and get your students to put it together like a jigsaw puzzle. Alternatively, have a student or small group complete a column each, then combine the columns to make a complete spectrum. You may also choose to have students write the wavelength and frequency ranges in the chart, although this can be difficult because often the different radiation parts overlap, and students may find that the numbers found for the ranges vary from website to website.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a chart that illustrates the electromagnetic spectrum and it's properties.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Write the names of the types of radiation as the titles of the columns.
  3. Write the frequency and wavelength range under each category.
  4. Write some uses of each type of radiation in the uses row and add some images to illustrate your ideas.
  5. List some dangers to humans of each radiation and in the dangers row. Add some images to illustrate your ideas.
  6. Add any extra information you think is important.
  7. Save often!

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-12

Difficulty Level 4 (Difficult / Complex)

Type of Assignment Individual or Group


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

More Storyboard That Activities

Electromagnetic Spectrum

Image Attributions
  • Burnt • erix! • License Attribution (
  • CAT scanner • Muffet • License Attribution (
  • Heat • oatsy40 • License Attribution (
  • iPhone • goto_ • License Attribution (
  • new5-Tanning Beds • Upstate Options Magazine • License Attribution (
  • padded cell • Project-128 • License Attribution (
  • Radiation supervised area • Arenamontanus • License Attribution (
  • Sunburn • germanium • License Attribution (
  • Thermometer • jetsandzeppelins • License Attribution (
  • Tribute to Roger Ebert • get directly down • License Attribution, Non Commercial (
  • xray • Rahim Packir Saibo • License Attribution (
  • Yashica Electro 35 GSN • CapCase • License Attribution (
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