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Using Patterns to Transmit Information – 4th Grade Science Unit

With this fun unit Using Patterns to Transmit Information, students will use patterns to communicate with each other!

NGSS Standard 4-PS4-3 can be a tricky one to teach. This unit will save you time and help you address this standard, and it will keep your students engaged! More on fourth grade standards here NGSS fourth grade

Generate and compare multiple solutions that use patterns to transfer information.

NGSS 4-PS4-3

It’s also aligned with Standard Utah SEEd 4.3.3.

Design a solution to an information transfer problem using wave patternsDefine the problem, identify criteria and constraints, develop possible solutions using models, analyze data from testing solutions, and propose modifications for optimizing a solution. Examples could include using light to transmit a message in Morse code or using lenses and mirrors to see objects that are far away.

Utah SEEd 4.3.3

This resource includes four exciting hands-on activities addressing this standard.

Students will learn four different methods for transmitting information by using patterns and then they will compare the four.

Students will learn about Morse Code, how it works, and how they can use it to send a message. They will also consider why it’s no longer being used.

Using patterns to transmit information

Using Patterns to Transmit Information

Students will create their own simple telegraph machine using a simple electrical circuit and use it to send and receive messages. Materials needed for this include a battery, electrical wire, electrical tape, and a light bulb.

Using Patterns to Transmit Information


Students will also learn about QR Codes by using QR Codes. For this lesson access to the internet and some type of device with a FREE QR code reader will be needed. One for each group of students is plenty. Students will use QR codes and follow one to this page What is a QR Code? It is perfectly safe, since this page is on my own blog.

The other two lessons use simple household materials or school supplies like an eraser, pencil, flashlight, etc.

Each lab on communicating with patterns includes response pages as well as answer keys. See other resources for fourth-grade NGSS.

Other 4th-grade science teachers LOVE this resource!

Check out two of the 100+ perfect reviews:

Very low prep with high-interest passages. I was able to use some of this as a send home packet when my school closed. Great comprehension pages.

Vessa W.

Well planned and easy to use with creative activities. I will be looking at more from this author for 4th grade NGSS.

Richard S.

Try this unit in your classroom TODAY:

This unit is available for download in two places:

  1. Here on
  2. Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams on Teachers Pay Teachers

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Thank you, and I hope you enjoy using this unit in your classroom!


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