Materials List: white board or chart, jump rope or long length of rope, lunch-sized paper bags, paper for KWL chart
This activity may take two days to complete.
Using a modified opinionnaire (view literacy strategy descriptions) write the prompt, “Sound is more important than light,” on the board or a chart for the students to respond. This opinionnaire is modified because it only has a single question and is designed to be a whole-class discussion rather than a small-group one. Have students think about the statement for a moment prior to the group discussion. Next, have students take a stand and separate the students into two groups – those who agree and those who disagree. Begin the discussion by having students defend their opinion and explain the “why” behind their decision. Following the “debate” allow students who have changed their minds to move to the other group. Remember the emphasis is on the students’ points of view and not the “correctness” of their opinions. The statement is intended to elicit attitudes and feelings, which in turn promotes language production, activates relevant prior knowledge, and leads to engaged discussion and listening. The discussion the statement inspires then serves as a bridge to the information and ideas explored in future investigations.
Next have students sit quietly for one minute to listen to the sounds in the classroom. Discuss the sounds heard. Students may be surprised by the sounds heard that they had not noticed before. Continue the discussion using a class KWL chart, a graphic organizer (view literacy strategy descriptions), to record what students know or believe they know about sound. This chart is divided into three sections. In the “K” section of the chart, the teacher records what students know or believe they know about sound. In the “W” section of the chart, the teacher records what the students would like to know or what they wonder about sound. The “L” section of the chart is completed at the end of the unit to record what the students feel they have learned during the study of sound. Invite several students to create a sound using their body. Encourage volunteers to explain how and why they heard the sounds made. Through the discussion, develop the concept that sound travels in waves. Have students demonstrate wave-like motions with their bodies and name places they have seen waves (beach, wave pool, football games).
Wave Demonstration: Using a long length of rope or a long jump rope tie one end to a stationary object such as a teacher desk or door knob. Have a volunteer “flick” the free end up and down to see how waves move along the rope. Discuss how the flicking movement travels along the rope like a wave. This demonstrates how sound waves travel.
Safety Note: instruct students to hold the bags away from their head and/or ears.
Give each student a lunch-sized paper bag. Have the students predict what will happen if they blow into the bag, twist the top, hold the bag in one hand, and “slam” the bag with the other hand. Next have the students demonstrate what occurs using the above mentioned actions. Have students explain why they heard a loud popping sound. How was the sound made that traveled to their ears?
How It Works!
When the air-filled bag burst, the air trapped inside was forced through the hole in the paper bag. The escaping air gave a sudden push to the surrounding air. The push continued on through the air in a wave-like motion. The loud bang resulted as the powerful sound waves moved through the air and reached our ears.