em song

Yann, Emerson & Wong

Publication date: Accessed on Nov. 7, 2017
Publisher: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjOGNVH3D4Y



Rationale:  The concept of electromagnetic radiation is central for the study of the interaction of the different types of light with matter. This covers a range of wavelengths or frequencies over which electromagnetic radiation extends. In my experience, students have difficulties when introduced to concepts such as changing magnetic and electric fields that generate one to another subsequently, and produce electromagnetic radiation. I have found that presenting this song is a great starting point to introduce the concept, especially because it describes the different applications in our daily life of the various radiations. I have been playing this song in all my classes of first and second year college students, and found that being quite rhythmic, students like it, and remember it even after several semesters (great example of endurance of knowledge).

Summary:  The song’s chorus reinforces the important concept that “electromagnetic radiation us just a name for a range of radiation”, then, it reviews the radiation types from low to high energy: “Radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, visible light, ultraviolet, X-rays, gamma rays”. Then, it describes the different uses of each radiation and after each one repeats the chorus! By the end of the song, the students realize that the song will keep doing the repetition and I start singing myself. Interestingly, many times students clap at the end of the song.


Using the Flesh-Kincaid model, the readability of this song is grade level 9.36.  However, the song’s vocabulary and syntax are easy to understand and follow as it includes pictures and large fonts, i.e. “The electromagnetic spectrum is just a name of a kind of radiation let me tell you what they are. Radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, visible light, ultra violet, x-ray, gamma rays. From the TV stations to you living room that is the work of radio waves. Heating food in just second, microwaves do that”

Use in Class

I have used this song in class as a great resource to introduce and reinforce the concepts of radiation. Its simplicity makes it possible that students can listen to it independently and share it with their friends (as I advised them!). The video finished with an image that states “Physics is Fun!” which I think is a great take-home message.

Unit Focus


Submitted by Ulises Reveles

Electromagnetic Radiation

Electromagnetic Radiation


This text covers material for the Algebra Based PHYS202 General Physics II college class, in particular, it focuses on electromagnetic radiation from its common perception as visible light ranging from red to violet (colors in the rainbow) to the parts of the spectrum that are not visible for humans, i.e. low energy infrared, microwaves, and radio waves; and high energy ultraviolet, X-rays and gamma rays.

It spans over the historical findings that lead to our actual description of the electromagnetic radiation, the equations that describe its physical properties (velocity, wavelength, and frequency), the ways it is produced, and its applications in our daily life (medical, communication, lightning, food heating, etc.)

I chose the items for the test to provide additional material to reinforce/enrich the content taught and to interest students in the topic.  It includes a variety of texts: books at different reading levels from introductory to more advanced, videos, and online simulations.


Description of Students

My classes are second year college students with an expected reading level of 12 – 13. It includes students form diverse majors: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Pre-Medicine, Pharmacy, Health Sciences, Forensic Sciences, etc. In addition, I have international students for which English is their second language, and which sometimes have a lower reading level.

Targeted SOLs

SOLs do not apply for these classes

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Autobiography of a Fugitive Negro: His Anti-Slavery Labours in the United States, Canada, & England.

ard, Samuel Ringgold

Publication date: 1855


Grade Level  9.6


This text is part of a Unit on the Civil War. More specifically on the causes of the Civil War section of the unit. This is an excerpt from an autobiography of a fugitive slave, who escaped the United States for fear of his life.

Because it is from the point of view of an African American, it should aid with ensuring there are multiple perspectives represented in the classroom, and consequently with the aim of all of the students being represented whenever possible.

The content of the text is Samuel R. Ward, an escaped slave who has been living free in the North, recalling the reason why he chose to flee the United States not long after the Fugitive Slave law was enacted. It relates to history not only because it is a primary source document, but because it gives insight into how something as impersonal as a law effected actual people, and how they made decisions in their lives. It would also suffice to help students comprehend how historian know what they know, through evidence.


There is nothing highlighted and a list would have to be given for new vocabulary. Because this is a primary source and not a textbook, the concepts will be analyzed in class either through discussion or activities. The ideas are expressed clearly, but the writing style is a bit old-fashioned. It should not be so old-fashioned that it will be too difficult to decode.  Again, as it is a primary source there are no learning aids, but that can be developed separately if need be. The text is available online and therefore the format can be changed.  An example of why I might need to make changes would be to change the font for a dyslexic student.


Use in Class

This is primarily for grade level readers, in 11th grade. The students in mind for this reading, however, would be primarily African American students. This is because they need to have more representation in the classroom.

This book would be introduced in the classroom with an excerpt read out loud in a classroom activity. This would be to normalize representation from different perspectives and to emphasize the effects of the Fugitive Slave Law. Some edits would be made for language that would not be appropriate today. There is no language which would be considered inappropriate at the time it was written. It would also be on a list of possible readings for independent reading assignments. For students who choose this, they will read the book in its entirety, outside of class. They must annotate the text, which can be printed, and then write a summary and reflection.

Unit Focus

History/ Civil War


Ward, S. R. (1855). Autobiography of a Fugitive Negro. London: JOHN SNOW, 35, PATERNOSTER ROW.

Excerpt From Book

 In the summer of 1851, business called me to travel in various parts of the country. I visited numerous districts of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana,

as well as Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Smarting as we were under the recently passed Fugitive Law–and irritations being inflamed and aggravated by the dragging of some poor victim of it from some Northern town to the South and to slavery, every month or so–of course this law became the theme of most I said and wrote. In October, Mrs. Ward accompanied me in a tour through Ohio. We were about finishing that tour, when we saw in the papers an account of the Gorsuch case, in Christiana, Pennsylvania. That was a case in which the Reverend Mr. Gorsuch went armed to the house of a Negro, in the suburbs of the town named, in search of a slave who had escaped from him. The owner of the house denied him admittance. Several Negroes, armed, stood ready inside the house to defend it against the reverend slave-catcher and his party–the latter declaring his slave was in that house, avowing his determination to have him, if he went to h–ll after him; and, intending to intimidate the Negroes, fired upon the house with a rifle. Fortunately none of the besieged party were killed; but, they returned Mr. Gorsuch’s fire, and he dropped a corpse!

        The authorities arraigned these poor Negroes for murder. They seemed determined to have their blood. Upon reading this, I handed the paper

containing the account to my wife; and we concluded that resistance was fruitless, that the country was hopelessly given to the execution of this barbarous enactment, and that it were vain to hope for the reformation of such a country. At the same time, my secular prospects became exceedingly involved and embarrassed; and willing as I might be to be one of a forlorn hope in the assault upon slavery’s citadel, I had no reasonable prospect of doing so, consistently with my duty to my family. The anti-slavery cause does not, cannot, find bread and education for one’s children. We then jointly determined to wind up our affairs, and go to Canada; and, with the remnant of what might be left to us, purchase a little hut and garden, and pass the remainder of our days in peace, in a free British country.