Education
Age Range: 14-16
Duration: 0-29 mins
• Mathematics

Repeated graphical patterns

Reading and interpreting wave patterns in a graph

Engineers sometimes have to analyse data which shows a repeating pattern. Plotting a graph of the data is often helpful as it shows a picture of the pattern. This pattern may sometimes go on and on in a sequence.

In this activity, students will learn about the concept of repeated graphical patterns. Inspired by wave patterns, this lesson plan will offer a practical way for students to learn about reading, interpreting graphs as well as sequences. It will explore the periodic nature of these wave patterns, identifying maximum and minimum values, and looking for symmetrical properties.

This is one of a set of resources developed to aid the teaching of the secondary national curriculum, particularly KS3. It has been designed to support the delivery of key topics within mathematics.

Activity: Interpreting wave patterns in a graph

Students will start by reading the slides and answering questions on the first slide in pairs or small groups. They'll delve into the world of wave patterns, discussing points like maximum and minimum values, the frequency of the pattern repetition, and the location of symmetry. The second slide will challenge them further by asking them to predict the shape of the pattern at various points based on its period.

Download our activity overview and presentation for a detailed lesson plan for teaching students about how to interpreted wave patterns in a graph.

The engineering context

Many fields of engineering, such as signal processing, acoustics, and telecommunications, heavily rely on understanding wave patterns and their properties. By exploring these concepts in a fun and engaging way, students will see how engineers use mathematical concepts like these to create innovative solutions and products.

Suggested learning outcomes

Upon completion of this activity, students are expected to have a deeper understanding of reading and interpreting graphs, particularly wave patterns. They will learn how to identify maximum and minimum values, understand the concept of the period of a function, and recognise lines of symmetry. Furthermore, they'll develop problem-solving skills as they use these concepts to predict sequences and future points in the pattern.