WHAT IS SOUND?
I started off by asking the kids if they new how sound was created.
HOW IS SOUND MADE?
VIBRATION– I introduced them to vibration and showed this video clip I downloaded from online:
After the video I showed them a simple example of the things they sang about in the video. First, I had a mini bread pan wrapped with several different sizes of rubber bands. We talked about how the different sizes of rubber bands caused them to vibrate at different rates and therefore at different pitches.
Tighter=faster vibration= higher pitch/ More Loose=slower vibration=lower pitch
I then showed them the same effect on my ukulele.
CAN VIBRATION/SOUND WAVES BE SEEN AND FELT?
I had the kids hum and feel the vibration occurring in their necks, then in their faces on and around their nose.
I taught them about their vocal chords and how they are like a set of rubber bands that vibrate, then how the air resonates in the throat, mouth, and facial cavities.
I brought a clear cup of water and a small tuning fork. First, I explained how the tuning fork worked and how the invisible sound waves hitting each other in between the tongs would create a tone. I hit it and let each child individually hear the tone. Then I explained that when I hit the tuning fork and put it in the water, those same invisible waves would disrupt the surface of the water and they could essentially “see” the vibrations working. I hit the tuning fork and put in the water for small groups at a time. They were so excited by the whole tuning fork thing.
Then I played this video clip from The Magic School Bus to reinforce what we had just learned. They loved it:
Finally, I showed them how to make a straw kazoo and how when you change the length of the straw by cutting it smaller, the pitch gets higher and higher. As my “valentine”, I gave each of them a straw with a little slip of paper that had the website address to watch a video that shows how to make it and how it works. That clip is here: http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/phy03.sci.phys.howmove.zkazoo/pitch-straw-kazoo/
(This lesson was taught by Mrs. Barkdull.)