Lesson One: Introduction to Sound
I will begin this lesson with sensory activity. For this lesson, you will need to record a variety of indoor and outdoor sounds (such as a doorbell, a car horn, lawn mower, phone ringing). Students will close their eyes and listen to the tape without talking. Then students will be asked to identify the sounds that they heard on the tape and record their responses on chart paper. Then replay the tape and compare the actual sounds to their responses. Some sounds may be more difficult to identify, so I will guide them through correctly identifying each sound.
Next, I will proceed to construct a KWL chart on chart paper with the class. I use chart paper in all of the lessons so that we can revisit what we have already done. First I will record the students' responses to what they already know about sound, the K section. Next, to promote inquiry, the students will generate questions about what they would like to learn about sound, the W section on the chart. The L section, what they have learned, will be filled over the next 6 days, as we progress through the unit.
Finally, I will end the lesson by reading the story
The Very Quiet Cricket
by Eric Carle. This is a popular favorite about a cricket that is unable to talk when it is born. Many insects including a bigger cricket all try to help him, but when he rubs his wings together no sound is produced. Finally in the end he meets another quiet cricket and is able to find his voice. As I read the story the students will use their think aloud strategies, such as making connections to the text, picturing, wondering, noticing, and figuring out.
Lesson Two: What is Sound?
Today's lesson will introduce the concept that sounds are made of vibrations. I will explain to the students that every sound they hear is produced by vibrations. Vibrations are the rapid back and forth movement of any given object. This concept will be will be explored through three quick demonstrations.
First, students will each receive a ruler and will be instructed to place it on the edge of their desk. They will use one hand to hold the ruler down firmly, the other hand will carefully bend the ruler and then let it go. The students will observe the ruler's vibrations and the sound that it produces. They will be able to repeat this process, changing the length of the ruler that hangs of the desk, observing the different sounds that are produced.
For the next demonstration, each student will receive a comb. They will rub the teeth of the comb with their fingers and against a hard object. They will be able to feel the vibration against their fingers, and hear the sounds that are produced.
The third demonstration allows the children to feel the vibrations of a radio. Turn a radio on loud and have each student place the palm of their hand in front of the speaker. They will be able to feel the air vibrate. They can observe and compare the differences of the vibrations, by changing the volume of the radio.
Finally I will conclude this lesson by discussing what we have learned today. The students' responses will be recorded in the L section of our KWL chart.
Lesson Three: Sound Production: The Human Voice
Today we will begin the lesson by reviewing what we learned yesterday about vibrations. The KWL chart can be referred to if prompting is needed. Next I will give the students a few minutes to use their voices at different levels or volumes. I will then ask them, how their voice is produced. They will be given the chance to explain their ideas of how they think their voice works. After that I will explain to the students that the human voice is produced in a section of their throat called the larynx, or voice box. It will also need to be explained that two pieces of tissue called vocal cords, cover their larynx. It is these two pieces of tissue that produce sounds, when air rushes between them, causing them to vibrate. A diagram of the vocal cords will be shown, as the explanation is given, in order to touch upon all modalities for better understanding.
There are two demonstrations to explore this topic. First students will speak, while touching the front of their throat with the palm of their hand. This will allow them to feel the vibrations that are producing their voice. For the next demonstration each student will receive a balloon and will be instructed to inflate it. They will need to hold the neck of the balloon between their thumb and their index finger of each hand. Then they will slowly open and close the opening of the balloon, allowing air to be released from the balloon. They will observe the different sounds they are able to produce. This will simulate the action of the vocal cords. The air filled balloon is similar to their lungs, which push the air through their vocal cords. Again I will conclude this lesson with a discussion of what we learned, adding student responses to our KWL chart.
Lesson Four: Sound Production: Musical Instruments
I will begin this lesson by showing examples of each of the three different type of instruments (stringed, wind, and percussion) to the students. We will discuss the different ways each produces a vibration, for example, the strings on a guitar are plucked, air is blown across the mouthpiece of a flute, and striking the membrane of a drum. Each student will get a chance to produce a sound from one of the instruments and compare the different sounds that are produced.
Next the students will close their eyes and listen to a tape of instrumental music. I will then challenge them to name any types instruments (stringed, wind, or percussion) that they may have heard. These responses will be recorded on chart paper. Finally each student will be given a set of pictures of musical instruments and a piece of plain white paper. They will divide their paper into three sections: string, wind, and percussion, and then classify their instruments.
Again, I will conclude this lesson by discussing what we have learned and adding it to our KWL chart.
Lesson Five: Sound Production
This lesson will begin by having the students tell me everything they know about how different sounds are produced. Then the students will devise a list of questions they still have about the way certain sounds we have not explored are produced. Prompting will be provided if necessary. Next I will introduce and read the story
Sounds All Around
by Wendy Pfeffer. In this story Pfeffer explains how various sounds are produced. She begins simply with finger snapping and builds up to vocal cords. After the story the students will write a letter to a friend describing how a specific sound is produced.
Lesson Six: Sound Waves
I will begin this lesson by explaining how sound travels in waves. These waves spread out from the vibration and travel away allowing the sound to be heard. It will also be explained that these waves can travel through solids (a wall), a liquid (water), and gases (air). The following demonstration will be done to explore this concept. First a large pan will be filled half way up with water. Next, a toothpick, broken into three pieces, are put on top of the water to represent water molecules. It is important that the pieces of the toothpick are not touching. Finally use a eye dropper to drop one drop of water into the middle of the pan. The students will see ripples. They will then be asked to answer the following questions based on their observations:
1. Which way do the ripples go?
2. Do the toothpicks move as fast as the ripples?
3. The ripples move across the water but the toothpicks do not move with them. Just like the toothpicks, the molecules in the water do not move with the ripples. So what is moving?
We will answer these questions together as a class and record our responses on chart paper.
Lesson Seven: Speed of Sound
The lesson will begin with the students sharing what they have already learned about sound waves. Then I will explain that the speed of a sound wave is how fast the wave is passed from particle to particle. We will discuss a thunderstorm to illustrate the speed of sound. We will discuss how thunder and lightning originate at the same time, however, it does not seem that way to us. We see the lightning before we hear the thunder. This is because light (lightning) travels to our eyes faster then the sound (thunder). Sound travels faster than cars and most airplanes, but it is slow enough to trick our ears. The following experiment will be conducted to illustrate this concept.
The class will be divided into pairs for this experiment. Each pair will receive 1 paper towel tube and 2 rulers. They will begin with their back to their partner. One person puts the end of the paper towel tube up their left ear, and closes their eyes and keeps them closed. Next the other person taps the rulers together on the right side, about 1 foot from their partner's ear. Then the rulers are tapped together on the left side near the end of the tube. After this the rulers are tapped in different places without the partner knowing where they are. After each trial the partner needs to say either: on the right side, left side, or directly behind your head. These results are recorded on a piece of paper. Repeat this with the roles reversed.
After the roles are reversed we will discuss the following question as a group: Did you have any trouble telling where the sounds were coming from? We will then record what we learned today on our KWL chart.
Lesson Eight: Echoes
This lesson will begin by asking the students if they have ever heard an echo. Time will be allowed for students to share their experiences. In order to demonstrate this concept of echoes we will use a tub of water to see how the waves bounce off of the sides and return to the starting point. A large tub will be filled with water then make a wave in the center of the tub with your finger. Students will observe how the wave travels towards the edge of the tub and then bounces back. Students will also have the opportunity to try this themselves.
After we have observed how waves travel, we will go out side to experiment with this concept. Students will stand near the middle of the large, flat wall of our school. Then take about 50 steps back, away from the wall. They will take turns shouting and observing the length of time it took to hear the echo. A stopwatch could be used for accuracy. Then this experiment may have many trials, varying the distance from the wall.
When finished we will return to the classroom to discuss our observations, and the reasons for the differences in the length of time for us to hear the echo. We will also add what we learned today to our KWL chart.
As a culminating activity for this unit, students will work in pairs to make their own musical instrument. Students will be required to produce the instrument based on the principles of sound they have learned throughout the unit, using various materials such as, milk cartons, rubber bands, paper cups, strings, tin cans, bowls, water, pencils. They will also be expected to know which type of instrument (percussion, stringed, or wind) they made, and how it works. When completed, the students will share their instrument with the class.