"The best and most beautiful thing in life cannot be seen, not touched, but are felt in the heart." (Hurwitz, pg 3) This quote by Hellen Keller demonstrates the keen sense of her world and the world around her, which most of us take for granted. We as people are often preoccupied with our own lives and responsibilities to recognize the simple beauty in things we see and hear in our everyday lives.
Hearing is perhaps the one sense we take for granted the most. We often do not realize the different sounds that flood our ears on minute-to-minute bases. Also, the complex concept of sound and hearing is usually taken for granted. We simply assume that our ears and brains are doing their jobs to allow us to hear, and we do not give it a second thought.
This unit on hearing sounds is targeted for second grade students. I teach second grade at Bishop Woods Elementary School. My classroom is made up of a diverse group of students. A majority of the students are African American and Hispanic. Also I have four special education students mainstreamed into my classroom. Included among my students is a hearing impaired child. Academically my classroom is also extremely diverse. I have several students performing on or above grade level, while a significant number of children are e performing below grade level.
The purpose of this unit is to introduce students to the physics of hearing sound. Students will gain a basic understanding of how sounds are produced, as well as the mechanics of why and how we hear. Students will also be given the opportunity to explore different sounds, and gain an appreciation for their sense of hearing. Students will also gain insight into the life of a hearing impaired person, through demonstrations and experiments which deal with the loss of hearing. Hellen Keller will be the main focus during the discussion and investigation of hearing impaired people. Throughout the unit students will be creating a hearing vocabulary chart based on the new words and phrases learned throughout the unit. The unit focuses on four sections. Section one will focus on hearing and how our ear works. The second section will focus on hearing impairments and the life of Hellen Keller. Section three will delve into the mechanics of sound, such as sound waves, pitch, and loudness. The final section will focus on speed of sound and direction of sound.