Sharon has an Masters of Science in Mathematics and a Masters in Education
After this lesson, students will be able to:
- explain what sound waves are
- outline how sound waves produce different types of sounds
- discuss why sound waves are important
1 - 1.5 hours
- Copies of the lesson Sound Waves Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts, one for each student
- Slinkys, one for each group
- Rubber bands
- Paper or plastic cups
- Sound waves
- Vibrating energy
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.
Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
- Start the lesson by having students place a few fingers on their throat and hum a song. Ask them to talk to a partner to share what they feel.
- Ask students to discuss the guiding questions:
- How does sound travel?
- What makes sound?
- Preview and define lesson vocabulary words, then distribute the lesson Sound Waves Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts .
- Read the first section 'What Are Sound Waves?' together.
- Divide students into partners and give each group a Slinky.
- Have two students from each group stretch their Slinky as they each hold one end. Once the Slinky stops moving, have the student on one end move forward and backward (not up and down) slightly as others in the group watch.
- What happens to the Slinky when we move one end?
- Why is the energy moving in this way?
- Have you ever felt a sound wave? What did it feel like?
- Now read the section 'Why Are Sound Waves Important?' and have partners identify ways sound waves are important. Allow each to share a reason, then read 'How Do You Hear?' and 'How Do Sound Waves Produce Different Types of Sound?' together.
- Have students close their eyes as you make sounds that produce a variety of pitches, such as ringing a bell or slamming a book.
- Instruct students to indicate the level of pitch with their hands, raising them high if the pitch is high and low if the pitch is low.
- Now give each students a rubber band and instruct them to stretch it tight, then pluck and listen closely to the sound. Ask them to describe the pitch; it should be high.
- Tell students to loosen the stretch on the rubber band and pluck again, noticing the pitch, which should be lower.
- Why are some pitches higher than others?
- What is the relationship between sound waves and pitch?
- Read the 'Lesson Summary' together and take the quiz together to check understanding.
- Divide students into lab groups and give each one ruler, straws for each student, scissors, string, and cups. Make the following props:
- Show students how to cut a piece of string about 20 inches and tie each end into the cups to form a 'telephone.'
- Now have each student take a straw and flatten one inch of one end; cut this end into a 'v' shape (the straw will look like a pencil). Demonstrate how to hum into the flattened end of the straw like a kazoo.
- Model how to hold three inches of a ruler on the desktop and tap the end hanging off to create sound waves.
- Have students create a section for each object in their lab books: Ruler, Straw, and Telephone.
- Allow students to experiment with the three items to experience sound waves, recording results in their notebooks in words and images.
- Instruct students to write a sentence about each item and how it demonstrated sound waves.
- Debrief the lab experience with students, asking them to show their understanding of how sound waves move and produce differing pitch.
- Have students use descriptive words to describe pitch, then put words together to make a 'Pitch Poem.'
- Make tissue-box guitars using empty tissue boxes and rubber bands. Play and discuss pitch and sound waves.
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