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This lesson is a video-based investigation of sound and embraces the premise that students understand basic properties of solids, liquids and gases. Through instructional strategies utilizing video, hands-on activities and interactive participation, students advance existing knowledge to include understandings of how sound is created, how it travels in waves and under what conditions it travels best. An important component of the plan explores environments of the hearing impaired, allowing students to become sensitized to their special needs as they discover ways of being supportive.
ITV Series
Sound #108

Let's Explore Sound #105

Silent Lotus #910
Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
(per class)
(per student)

Pre-Viewing Activities
Introduce the lesson by instructing students to close their eyes. Say, "I'm going to use an object and create a sound. Listen carefully, then be prepared to identify it." Strike the gong, then ask, "What did you hear?" Elicit discussion leading to conclusion that sound was created when the gong was struck.

Write the term, molecule on chalkboard. Say, "Air is made up of tiny molecules. The molecules of air carried sound to your ears when I struck the gong." Draw a circle on chalkboard; shade inside the circle. Say, "This represents the gong." Draw rippling circles around the model as you say, "Striking the gong caused it to vibrate. As it vibrated, it struck the air molecules closest to it; they rippled out and away from the gong, carrying the sound to your ears." Be careful to show ripples that completely encircle the model, otherwise, some students may internalize vibrations moving in a single direction. Encourage students to use their own terminology as they tell how the sound was carried from the gong to their ears.

Ask students to describe what they observed at a time when they tossed a pebble into a pond. Encourage class interaction as individuals compare the movement of water molecules to the movement of air molecules.
Focus Viewing
Say, "You are going to watch a video where Bill Nye explains what causes sound to be created. Can you predict what he will tell causes the sound to be made?" Allow students to make predictions. To give students a specific responsibility while viewing say, "Watch the video and find out if your prediction is correct."

Viewing Activities
Sound #108
tape with video of Bill being tapped on the shoulder. PAUSE tape with audio of Bill saying, "...tiny vibrations in the air." Allow time for students to discuss the accuracy of their predictions. Review Bill's explanation of what causes sound; tiny vibrations in the air. Write vacuum on chalkboard. Explain as an area where all air has been removed. Ask, "If the gong were placed in a vacuum, then struck, what sound would it make?" Engage students in discussion concluding no sound would be made because there would be no air molecules for the gong's vibrations to come in contact with.

Instruct students to strike their hands together. Encourage them to describe the sound that was created. Ask, "Why did striking your hands together create sound?" (Two objects came in contact with one another; this time, hard and fast.) Ask, "How did bringing your hands together hard and fast cause the molecules of air around them to react?" (caused it to move or vibrate) Ask, "What did the vibrations cause?" (Vibrations caused waves of sound to travel out in all directions.)

Ask but do not challenge incorrect responses, "Does sound travel through metal and brick?" Record student responses on chalkboard. "Can sound travel through the vacuum of outer space?" Record responses. To give students a specific responsibility while viewing say, "Sound can travel around corners. Watch the next video and be prepared to tell why this is true." RESUME tape. PAUSE tape when the older girl says, "Sound travels faster through brick, too." Allow students to validate answers to the first two questions asked prior to viewing; next, have volunteers explain why sound travels around corners. (Sound waves bend around corners or objects when wavelengths are greater than dimensions of objects they come in contact with.) Say, "Solid objects generally transmit sound better than hollow or non-solid objects. What do you already know about molecules that would help you to explain why this is true?" (Most solids transmit sound faster because the molecules are closer together. Thus, when a sound wave disturbs a molecule in a solid, the vibration has less distance to travel before it reaches adjacent molecules.)

Speak in the lowest pitched voice you can generate as you explain low pitched sounds are made when vibrations move slowly. Have students experiment by speaking in their lowest possible pitched voices. Ask, "How would you expect vibrations to act when your voice is pitched high?" Allow students to deduct; confirm higher pitched sounds result from faster sound wave vibrations.

Hold the gong in clear view of students as they are instructed to carefully observe the demonstration. Tap the gong gently as you create the softest possible sound. Ask, "How would you describe the volume of sound made with a gentle tap?" Confirm soft or a sound with very little volume. Explain the soft or almost quiet sound was created because you tapped the gong with very little force. Ask, "How did the gentle tap cause the vibrations to act?" Confirm the tap was so gentle the vibrations didn't move very far. This created a very quiet sound. Now, strike the gong with a much greater force. Ask, "How would you compare this sound with the previous sound?" Confirm it was much louder. Ask, "How did the gong's vibrations act when greater force was applied?" Confirm vibrations moved farther. Elicit interaction among students as they relate their vocal cords barely vibrating to create a whisper, then vibrating farther out to create louder sounds.

To give students a specific responsibility while viewing ask, "Do you believe it's possible to see sound waves?" Allow students to share their beliefs. Say, "Watch the next video to find out if your belief is true." RESUME tape. PAUSE tape with audio of Bill saying, "Cool!" Allow students to validate their beliefs. Ask, "What instrument did Bill use to show a sound wave?" Confirm oscilloscope. Write term on chalkboard, then have students practice correct pronunciation.

Pre-prepare the following and use to simulate sound vibrations. Cover the open end of a large can with plastic wrap; secure using a rubber band. Center, then glue a small mirror to the plastic wrap. Have a flashlight available. Explain and allow students to examine the demon-stration tool. Say, "We can use this to demonstrate how sound waves act. What you see will be rays of light, however, they will act the same as sound waves." Direct the flashlight's beam onto the mirror. Tap the plastic wrap gently as students observe rays of light reflecting off the mirror. Allow time for obser-vation, then have students describe what happens to the light as the mirror vibrates. Next, tap the plastic wrap less gently; have students compare results with the previous observation. Encourage students to consider and explain why a light source was used to demonstrate sound vibration. (cannot see sound; can see light rays)

Have students experience sound traveling through a solid. Say, "Position your ear against the desk top, then tap the desk with your finger." Allow time for accomplishment of the task, then ask, "What did this prove about the way sound travels?" Allow discussion; confirm it as an example or proof that sound travels through a solid.

Ask, "Will sound travel through a balloon filled with air?" Allow students to predict. Distribute a round shape balloon to each student. Have them inflate and tie-off the end; assist as needed. Say, "Hold the balloon tightly against your ear and tap lightly on the side away from your face." Allow time for implemen-tation, then instruct students to move the balloon away from the ear and again tap it lightly. Have volunteers describe, then compare the sounds made in both balloon positions. Ask, "Why was the sound louder when you heard it traveling through the balloon?" Allow students to share their opinions, then confirm the air molecules were pressed closer together as the balloon was inflated. (Compressed molecules of air are better conductors of sound waves than are uncompressed molecules of air.)

Say, "As sound waves pass from one molecule of air to the next, the energy moving them is slightly reduced. This is why a sound is heard as louder close to its source and is heard as weaker the greater distance you move away from the source." Allow students to test this theory as they conduct the following experiment. Use masking tape to identify a location on the hallway floor where a sound will be created. Have a volunteer write source of sound on the tape. Have other students use a meter stick to measure, affix a strip of tape and mark distances one meter apart down the hallway. (Measure to about twenty meters.) Position a student at each marked distance facing away from source of the sound. Say, "Listen, then raise your hand as you hear a sound created when an object is dropped to the floor." Drop a pencil, then record the greatest distance from which the sound is heard. Repeat, rotating student positions and utilizing various objects such as a chalkboard eraser, a shoe, a book, etc. After all students have had an experience, remove tape from hallway floor and return to classroom. Write data on chalk-board for each object used in the experi-ment. Engage students in discussion as they analyze and explain why sounds created by dropping some of the objects could be heard at greater distances.

Say, "Sounds created by objects dropped to the floor in the hallway were not affected by hitting solid objects before they reached your ears. How do you think sound waves react when they hit an object?" Allow responses. To give students a specific responsibility while viewing say, "Watch the next video to find out if what you think is true." RESUME tape. PAUSE tape when Bill says, "That's an echo." Provide time for students to validate their previous thoughts about how sound waves would act. Ask, "What did you discover about why an echo is created?" Allow responses, then review waves spreading outward when a stone is tossed into a pond; relate to sound waves traveling in a similar manner. Say, "As sound waves hit a solid object they bounce off, sometimes creating an echo." Ask students to share experiences related to what happened when they stood in front of a tall building and shouted. (sometimes hear an echo of your voice) Explain bats and dolphins use high pitched sounds to create echoes which are bounced off objects in their environments. Ask, "How does this ability help them?"

Demonstrate how sound waves sometimes bounce back. Have two volunteers hold a slinky spread apart. Instruct one to jerk the slinky toward their partner. Have other students describe their observations. (They will observe the wave move forward, then backward.) Allow other students to experiment with the slinky's motions as they describe their obser-vations. Reinforce: The greater the distance a sound wave travels, the weaker it becomes. Elicit discussion as students give examples of personal experiences that prove the theory to be true. (e.g.) The siren on an approaching or departing fire truck; someone calling out at a distance; a jet arriving/departing, etc.

Ask, "Where were you at a time when you were able to make your voice echo?" Allow for students to share personal experiences. Ask, "Did you understand what caused your voice to echo?" To give students a specific responsibility while viewing say, "Watch the next video and be prepared to explain what causes an echo." RESUME tape. PAUSE tape when the girl says, "It happens in a hundredth of a second." Provide time for students to describe what happens when an echo is created. REWIND tape to position where animation of the ear begins; MUTE audio. BEGIN tape and have individuals describe steps to the hearing process as you pause tape after each step. PAUSE tape at end of animated segment. Allow time for students to name steps in the hearing process as shown on the video; write each step on chalkboard.

Distribute a copy of the Activity Sheet and a pencil to each student. Discuss content and provide instructions for completing the activity. Allow time for students to complete the task. Have volunteers provide answers for completion of statements 1-4 at bottom of the sheet. Allow students to share their beliefs for why you should never place anything smaller than your finger inside your ear. NOTE: Use the following to elicit discussion explaining the process of hearing or for reteaching individuals as needed: the outer ear picks up sound waves; sound waves are then directed through the ear canal; the ear drum is located at the end of the ear canal and is covered by a very tight, thin layer of skin; when sound waves reach the eardrum, they cause it to vibrate; vibrations are picked up by three tiny bones that carry them to the tube that looks like a snail shell; and many small nerves inside the tube carry sound messages to your brain. Discuss: Sound travels well through air but it travels even better through many solids and liquids. Long ago, Native Americans understood that sound travels better through the ground than through air. This knowledge served them well. Scouts would lie with an ear against the ground as they listened for approaching enemies. In this position, they could hear hoofbeats of approaching horses before they were heard as sound waves traveling through the air.

Demonstrate how sound travels through a solid as you tape a wrist watch that ticks on the side of a door made of wood. Have students go to the opposite side of the door, then position an ear against the wood. After all students have had an opportunity to experience the demon-stration, elicit discussion including ex-planations of their observations.

Encourage students to share opinions as you ask, "How does the ability to use your voice affect the quality of your life?" To give students a specific responsibility while viewing say, "Watch the next video and be prepared to explain how your voice functions." RESUME tape. STOP tape at end of program, immediately before closing credits. Elicit discussion leading to conclusions that the voice comes from inside the throat. Instruct students to place one hand gently on the front of their throat, then hum. Ask, "What did you feel?" (vibrations) Say, "The voice box is located inside the throat." Write vocal cords on chalkboard, then ask "What do you already know about your vocal cords?" Allow students to share their knowledge. Emphasize, vocal cords are folds of muscle inside the voice box. Say, "We create speech or other sounds when we force air from our lungs and across the vocal cords. As air moves across vocal cords, they vibrate and create sound." Write on chalkboard: It is not possible to breathe air in and speak at the same time. Ask, "Is this statement true or false?" Require students to qualify their answers. (The statement is true. It is not possible to force air from your lungs to create speech and to simultaneously breathe in air.) Write on chalkboard: It is not possible to breathe air out and speak at the same time. Ask, "Is this statement true or false?" Require quali-fication of answers. (The statement is false. Forcing air from the lungs is both a part of the breathing process and a necessary function for creating speech.)

Let's Explore Sound #105

To give students a specific responsibility while listening say, "You will hear only the audio on the next video. As you hear a different sound, call out what you believe is creating the sound." Cover the television screen with a piece of poster board and BEGIN tape with audio, "I wonder where that sound is coming from." Sounds included are: musical instrument, bird whistle, subway, mailbox, car horn, siren, trolley, horse clopping, merry-go-round, roller coaster, playground noise, rooster, cricket, lightning, grinding, clock striking, dog barking, jet, fireworks and a drum. PAUSE tape immediately after sound of drum.

To give students a specific responsibility while viewing say, "Watch the video this time with both picture and sound. Check to see how many sounds you identified correctly." REWIND tape and begin with audio, "I wonder where that sound is coming from." PAUSE tape following audio and visual of the drum, then allow students to self-evaluate their ability to recognize sounds without visual assistance.

Say, "When an object vibrates, it causes something to move. What is actually moved by vibrations?" Allow students to respond. To give students a specific responsibility while viewing say, "Watch the next video to check your answer for accuracy." RESUME tape. PAUSE tape after the video as classroom children say, "Yeah." Elicit discussion leading to conclusion that a vibration causes air to move. Ask, "What are examples of ways sound can be created?" List on chalkboard as volunteers tell examples of sources. (e.g.) plucking, blowing, stroking, hitting, striking, pushing, etc. Have students describe a sound made by each source listed on the chalkboard.

Select volunteers to demonstrate experiments which follow. Place materials in centers for providing all students an experience at a later time. Blowing: Provide four identical glass bottles partially filled with different amounts of water. Have volunteer blow into each bottle as the class discusses cause and effect. (As each bottle has a different column of air, blowing into each creates a different pitch.) Begin with bottle containing the least amount of water and listen for the lowest pitch. Relate this demonstration to musical instruments as: an oboe produces a lower sound than a flute which has a shorter column of air.

Tapping/Striking: Provide several teacher selected objects. (e.g.) A ruler, plastic cup, coat hanger, rubber mallet, etc. Select two volunteers. Have one place an ear against a wooden desk as the second volunteer taps or strikes one of the objects against the desktop. The first volunteer should describe the pitch and sound created by the object.

Rubbing: The objects to be used for creating sound are three inflated balloons with different shapes. Sounds are created by rubbing a variety of textures across each balloon. Have students compare and contrast sounds that are made. Plucking: Provide a book with four rubber bands stretched around it. Have a volunteer experiment with various sounds and combinations of sound created by plucking the rubber bands. Position a pencil under the rubber bands at both ends to create guitar sounds.

FAST FORWARD tape to visual of four girls dressed in black. BEGIN tape with audio, "...dance group has hearing problems." Say, "When I signal, place your hands tightly over your ears; watch for a signal to take your hands away." Allow a few minutes, then PAUSE tape and signal for hands to be taken away. Have students describe how this affected their ability to hear and understand the video.

A tape recorder and an instrumental tape is needed for this activity. Instruct students to be prepared to describe any sensation they feel as they shut their eyes and cover their ears for implementation of the demonstration. Place volume control on the tape recorder at a high level and begin playing the instrumental tape. Stop tape and have students describe what they heard and felt. (Elicit vibrations were felt.) Have students describe how they might feel and act if they were unable to hear sounds. Ask, "What experiences have you had with people who are hearing impaired or deaf."

To give students a specific responsibility while viewing say, "The next video shows a group of deaf girls who are members of a dance team. As you watch, look for ways they are able to feel the music." RESUME tape. STOP tape after students have had a reasonable opportunity to observe how the music is felt. Allow students to tell the dancers felt vibrations of the music through the air, through the floor and vibrations coming in contact with their bodies.

Explain how some individuals have been deaf since birth, how some became deaf following an illness and how others are deaf due to an accident. Emphasize speech is learned by hearing and imitating sounds we have been exposed to through our en-vironments. Encourage students to discuss the difficulty of making speech sounds if an individual has never heard the sounds. Include that a deaf person's inability to speak or speak clearly is not an indicator of their intelligence level.

Say, "Much courage is necessary for a deaf person to function in society." Ask, "What might we do that could help to make a deaf person's life happier?" Allow students to express opinions. To give students a specific responsibility while viewing say, "Watch the video to see if you named a similar way to make a deaf person more comfortable."

Silent Lotus #910
tape after opening credits. PAUSE tape with audio, "We say plenty without making a sound." Allow time for students to compare their suggestions with the example given on the video. Ask, "How can you communicate without making a sound?" Record ideas on the chalkboard.

To give students a specific responsibility while viewing say, "As you watch the next video, look for other ways to communicate." RESUME tape; PAUSE tape with audio, "There are lots of ways to say what's on your mind, you just have to find the one that is best for you." Provide an opportunity for students to discuss other alternatives to speaking, then, FAST FORWARD tape past the story of Silent Lotus. To give students a specific re-sponsibility while viewing the next video say, "As you watch this video, look for suggestions the young lady makes for helping a hearing impaired person." RESUME tape with audio, "We will all find our own best way to communicate." PAUSE tape when he hugs her and allow students to discuss how they as individuals would implement suggestions shown on the video.

Ask, "Who knows someone with a hearing loss?" Allow for responses. "What have you learned that will help you communicate better with the hearing im-paired people you know?" (speak clearly, speak softly, look directly at the person so they can lip read, be patient and positive) To give students a specific responsibility while viewing say, "Watch the next video and be prepared to discuss how a deaf child's life is like or unlike his hearing brother's life." RESUME tape; STOP tape when the dance is over. Encourage students to compare the lives of the two siblings shown on the video. Use the following questions as catalysts to help individual students internalize the inability to hear sounds. What are things the deaf boy enjoyed? (All things enjoyed by his hearing brother were also enjoyed by the deaf sibling.) How did the brother and friends communicate? (sign language) Why was the dance class a positive experience for the deaf boy? (He was allowed to feel and be included as part of a group.) What were the hearing children afraid of at first? (Afraid the deaf child would laugh because he/she couldn't communicate.) How did the hearing impaired children follow the music? (watched other children) Why do you suppose the deaf boy spoke unclearly and different from you? (He was unable to hear the sounds as you or I would hear them.)

Discuss as you encourage students to employ self-application to the class' interaction. Say, "You can now under-stand that a hearing impaired child is just like other children. They need to be accepted and treated no differently from others. They have a great need for every-one to realize they are not less intelligent just because they don't hear sounds."

As the lesson is brought to closure ask, "How will things you have learned about sound and individuals who are unable to hear it, help you to be more under-standing and supportive to persons who are hearing impaired?" Elicit a response from each student.

Action Plan
Identify a school for the hearing impaired in your area. Communicate with a willing primary teacher in the school to plan a field trip and party for her/his students. Pair students from both classes so each hearing impaired child will have a personal supportive peer to act as their host. Invite the class to visit your school for the party. If it isn't practical for the hearing impaired class to visit your school, solicit cooperation from their teacher and "take the party to them."
Creative Writing:
Have students write a play based on the importance for protecting a person's ability to hear. Plan a performance for other grade levels, other classes and parents.

On Line Communications:
Have students generate a list of questions they have about hearing impairment. Go on line to receive responses.

Have students create musical instruments from household items. Use the instru-ments to experiment with and demon-strate creating sound. Suggested in-struments include drums, horns, stringed instruments, shakers, sand blocks, triangles, etc.

Have students create a clay model of the ear.

Create an animation or hypercard showing how sound reaches the ear.

Figure the distance of an approaching thunderstorm. Use five seconds for each mile after lightning is seen and/or thunder is heard.

Master Teachers: Connie Crowell and Susie Bateman

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