Familiarity with sine and cosine functions and graphing in general.
This activity can be used either as a discovery lesson, where students are familiar only with the basic graphs of sine and cosine, or as a reinforcement of more advanced material.
The students will become familiar with the effects of changing the amplitude, period, phase shift, and midline on the graph of a sinusoid. They will then describe, in words, the effect of each.
If the activity is being used as a discovery lesson, then the students can simply explore what effects the four sliders have.
If being used as reinforcement, where students have already covered the material, then it can be used in a pre- and post-test situation. Quiz the students on writing the equations of several graphs, score and return the quizzes, let the students explore the effects of the four sliders in Fathom, and then follow with another quiz. The latter results will hopefully show improvement where there were earlier errors.
The activity can also be used for remediation with students who are having trouble mastering the equation of a sinusoid.