Students write poems using rhyme and meter as they come to understand the mechanical concept of rhythm, based on the principle of oscillation, in a broader biological and cultural context, as seen in dance and sports, poetry and other literary forms, and communication in general. Note: The literacy activities for the Mechanics unit are based on physical themes that have broad application to our experience in the world — concepts of rhythm, balance, spin, gravity, levity, inertia, momentum, friction, stress and tension.
Each TeachEngineering lesson or activity is correlated to one or more K-12 science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) educational standards.
All 100,000+ K-12 STEM standards covered in TeachEngineering are collected, maintained and packaged by the Achievement Standard Network (ASN), a project of JES & Co. (www.jesandco.org).
In the ASN, standards are hierarchically structured: first by source; e.g., by state; within source by type; e.g., science or mathematics; within type by subtype, then by grade, etc.
Click on the standard groupings to explore this hierarchy as it applies to this document.
- Colorado: Science
- a. Compare and contrast different types of waves (Grade 8)  ...show
- International Technology and Engineering Educators Association: Technology
- C. Various relationships exist between technology and other fields of study. (Grades 3 - 5)  ...show
- Understand why engineers are concerned with oscillations or resonances in the design of mechanical devices
- Write poems using rhyme and meter to understand the mechanical concept of rhythm, based on the principle of oscillation, in a broader biological and cultural context
- Use reading, writing, speaking, listening and viewing skills to solve problems and answer questions
- Paper, pens or pencils
- Access to the Internet
- Movement or variation characterized by the regular recurrence or alternation of different quantities or conditions: the rhythm of the tides.
- The patterned, recurring alternations of contrasting elements of sound or speech.
- The pattern of musical movement through time.
- A specific kind of such a pattern, formed by a series of notes differing in duration and stress: a waltz rhythm.
- A group of instruments supplying the rhythm in a band.
- The pattern or flow of sound created by the arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllables in accentual verse or of long and short syllables in quantitative verse.
- The similar but less formal sequence of sounds in prose.
- A specific kind of metrical pattern or flow: iambic rhythm.
- The sense of temporal development created in a work of literature or a film by the arrangement of formal elements such as the length of scenes, the nature and amount of dialogue, or the repetition of motifs.
- A regular or harmonious pattern created by lines, forms, and colors in painting, sculpture, and other visual arts.
- The pattern of development produced in a literary or dramatic work by repetition of elements such as words, phrases, incidents, themes, images, and symbols.
- Procedure or routine characterized by regularly recurring elements, activities, or factors: the rhythm of civilization; the rhythm of the lengthy negotiations.
|Alternation:||Successive change from one thing or state to another and back again.|
|Free verse:||Verse composed of variable, usually unrhymed lines having no fixed metrical pattern.|
|Meander:||To follow a winding and turning course: Streams tend to meander through level land.|
|Meter:||A particular arrangement of words in poetry, such as iambic pentameter, determined by the kind and number of metrical units in a line.|
|Oscillate:||To swing back and forth with a steady, uninterrupted rhythm; to waver, as between conflicting opinions or courses of action; Physics. To vary between alternate extremes, usually within a definable period of time.|
|Phenomenon (singular), phenomena (plural):||An occurrence, circumstance or fact that is perceptible by the senses.|
|Regular:||Occurring at fixed intervals; periodic: regular beats of the drum.|
|Recur:||To happen, come up or show up again or repeatedly.|
|Stress:||The emphasis placed on the sound or syllable spoken most forcefully in a word or phrase.|
|Synchronize:||To cause to occur or operate with exact coincidence in time or rate: We synchronized our watches.|
Activity Embedded Assessment
- All that Jazz — Play Duke Ellington or other jazz greats in class. For starters, try Ellington's "Take the 'A' Train" or the long version of Benny Goodman's "Sing, Sing, Sing" from his Carnegie Hall concert. Learn more about the different types of jazz and their distinctive rhythmic signatures. For more ideas and information, see All About Jazz, http://www.allaboutjazz.com/.
- Stomp! — Create your own Stomp group. Stomp is an exciting modern dance troupe using everyday objects in non-traditional ways. To learn more, visit Stomp, http://www.stomponline.com.
- Got Game? — Think of all the ways that a good sense of rhythm improves performance in sport and helps athletes get "into the zone" — from the rhythmic dribbling of a basketball to the even strokes of a swimmer to the steady pumping of a marathoner's legs.
- Tête-à-tête — In conversation, as in all areas of life, it is good to have a sense of give and take. Pay attention to the rhythm of your speech, especially when you are talking with someone else. Good communication has a kind of pendulum swing — tête-à-tête, as the French say, from head-to-head — with neither partner dominating the conversation. Practice taking turns listening and speaking, and develop the rhythm of give and take.
- The Rhythm of the Night — Visual art can also convey a sense of rhythm. Does the swirl in Van Gogh's "Starry Night" painting remind you of anything? (Answer: The swirl defined by the pendulum arc in the introductory graphical animation.) Visit a local art museum to explore how works of visual art incorporate rhythmic elements or convey a sense of rhythm or balance.
- Some students may need to practice imitating the rhythmic pattern of a famous poem several times before attempting an original composition.
- The Activity Extensions address a wide range of interests, abilities and learning styles and can be used selectively, as appropriate.
Jazz. The Web's Ultimate Guide to Jazz. Accessed May 15, 2004. All About Jazz. http://www.allaboutjazz.com/
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language. Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000. Source of "rhythm" definition. Available online at: http://www.dictionary.com
DeSerio, Robert. "Chaotic Pendulum: The Complete Attractor." American Journal of Physics. Vol. 71, pp. 250-257, 2003. (Source of animated gif of chaos movement. Used with permission. See http://www.phys.ufl.edu/courses/phy4803L. Accessed August 12, 2004.)
Dictionary.com. Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. Accessed May 15, 2004. (Source of vocabulary definitions, with some adaptation) http://www.dictionary.com
Klawitter, George. Scansion. Updated July 23, 2000. Poetics, St. Edward's University, Austin, TX. Accessed May 15, 2004. (A basic introduction to scansion) http://myweb.stedwards.edu/georgek/poetics/scansion.html
Percussion for Kids. Stomp. Accessed May 15, 2004. http://www.stomponline.com
Rhythm, Meter and Scansion Made Easy. Mr. Black's 5th and 6th Grade English Page, Riverdale, Oregon. Accessed May 15, 2004. http://server.riverdale.k12.or.us/~bblack/meter.html
Stomp, The International Percussion Sensation. Accessed May 15, 2004. http://www.stomponline.com
Toon, John. Out of Time. Updated September 10, 2000. Georgia Tech Research Horizons. Accessed May 15, 2004. (Researchers recreate 1665 clock experiment to gain insights into modern synchronized oscillators.) http://gtresearchnews.gatech.edu/reshor/rh-f00/time.html
Jane Evenson, Malinda Schaefer Zarske, Denise W. Carlson
© 2004 by Regents of the University of Colorado.
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program, College of Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder
Last modified: October 8, 2015