Activity Overview

Ideas about the EM spectrum have changed over time. In this activity, students will create a timeline that highlights how the EM spectrum developed over time. This will highlight how science needs scientists to collaboratively work together to share findings to further human understanding and how scientific discoveries can directly benefit the human race and lead to important inventions.

For an alternative to the timeline layout, have students create a timeline poster to incorporate into a presentation or gallery walk. You can add more than one template to this assignment to give students lots of options and adjust the instructions accordingly.

Suggested Important Scientists

  • Al-Kindi (801 - 873)
  • Ibn Sahl (940 - 1000)
  • Ibn al-Hatham (965 - 1040)
  • Johannes Kepler (1571 - 1630)
  • Willebrord Snellius (1580 - 1626)
  • Isaac Newton (1643 - 1727)
  • William Herschel (1738 - 1822)
  • Johann Ritter (1776 - 1810)
  • Michael Faraday (1791 - 1867)
  • James Clerk Maxwell (1831 - 1879)
  • Wilhelm Röntgen (1845 - 1923)
  • Heinrich Hertz (1857 - 1894)
  • Paul Villard (1860 - 1934)
  • Guglielmo Marconi (1874 - 1937)
  • William Henry Bragg (1862 - 1942)
  • Percy Spencer (1894-1970)
  • Reginald Aubrey Fessenden (1866 -1932)

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a visual timeline of how and why ideas of the EM spectrum have changed over time.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Choose six people or moments in the history of science that you think are the most important in our understanding of the EM spectrum.
  3. Write a title and the date (just the year is fine) for these six moments using the timeline.
  4. Illustrate the moment with a cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
  5. Write a couple of sentences to describe the moment and why it is important.

Lesson Plan Reference


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

Historical Timeline
Choose 6 major milestones in the development of understanding in this topic and produce a timeline storyboard showing how ideas have changed and why.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Event description
All the cells are clearly described with details of the significance of the milestone.
All the cells are clearly described.
Some cells are described.
The storyboard cells clearly illustrate all the 6 chosen historical moments.
The storyboard cells clearly illustrate some of the 6 chosen historical moments.
The storyboard cells does not clearly any of the 6 chosen historical moments.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.

This Activity is Part of Many Teacher Guides

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