In this three-part activity, learners explore how waves are formed and why some waves are bigger than others. First, learners observe waves of water in a pan generated by an electric fan. Learners predict how the waves will change at low, medium, and high settings and compare their predictions to their observations. Then, learners drop a toothpick in the pan and turn on the fan to simulate how water particles spin in the direction of the wind. In the final activity, learners create a beach model to study wave size and patterns. This detailed lesson plan includes reflection questions, extension/simplification suggestions, web resources, and a blackline master.