Throughout the remaining activities students will gather information for our L (what we learned) portion of our chart. I will again begin this lesson with a story about hearing called
Hearing (The Library of the Five Senses and the Sixth Sense)
by Sue Hurwitz. Through hearing this book students will get a basic understanding of how our ear works and how we hear sounds. While reading the book I will ask students to help me label a teacher drawn replica of the ear. In addition to labeling the diagram students will be able to define what each part of the ear does through an inquiry group approach. In this approach the teacher and student work together to acquire answers to a question, rather than the teacher simply spitting out information.
After students have identified the different parts of the ear they will be placed in cooperative learning groups to produce their own diagram of the ear. Students will be given different materials, such as toilet paper tube, string, pipe cleaners, etc., to be used to replicate the ear. This challenging activity will allow students to be creative, at the same time using what they have learned. For example, the cochlea of the ear is spiral, so students will need to use something that will show its shape. This is also a good way to assess students understanding of how the ear works. Students will be able the diagram we have labeled as a guide. Students will also be responsible for their response journals for the following question. What would happen if a part of your ear did not work correctly? The responses will be a great lead in to the next lesson about hearing impairments and the Life of Hellen Keller.
An extension or center activity to this lesson is to have students create flipbooks diagramming and defining the different parts of the ear.
There are two great demonstrations to show how your ears work.
The first is to make an Ear Trumpet.
1. Take a piece of paper and roll it into a cone, with the small end a half- inch opening or larger.
2. Place the cone up to your ear. Be careful not to poke your ear.
3. Listen to a distant sound in a quiet room.
The ear trumpet gathers up sound waves and funnels them into your ear. Because the funnel is bigger than your ear, it gathers more waves. A good response question would be: Why do you think you hear better with the ear funnel?
The second demonstration is to make an ear drum.
1. Stretch a piece of plastic wrap tightly over a cake pan. Hold it in place with a rubber band.
2. Place a small amount of rice on the plastic wrap.
3. Hold a saucepan near and hit it with a spoon.
When you bang on the pan, the sound wave hits the drum and makes it vibrate, just like your eardrum.