Sound

Science Year 4 Listen Up!

The rock stars of the world need your help! They want their children to come to their concerts and rock-out, but they want to protect their precious ears! Find out all you can about sound; how it travels, pitch and volume. Then investigate materials to see which will provide the best insulation against sound. Be ready to present your ideas to a famous panel.

Session 1 Sound walk

Objectives

Go on a ‘sound walk’ through the school and begin to think about how sound is made.

Science Objectives
i) Identify how sounds are made, associating some of them with something vibrating.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiries to answer them.
  2. Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Silent PowerPoint
  • Sound sheets (5 per child)

Additional Resources

  • Clipboards (1 per child)
  • A gong (or similar instrument)
  • Box of instruments (large and small – enough for every child to have one)

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Ask and answer questions about the sounds that can be heard and begin to consider how sounds are made.

Activities

  1. Consider which areas of the school will be quiet, which will be loud and which will have no sound at all.
  2. Walk around the school listening for different sounds.
  3. Begin to consider sound and how sounds are made.
  4. Understand the term ‘noise pollution’.

Investigation - exploring
Go on a ‘sound walk’ through the school and begin to think about how sound is made.

Vocabulary
Sound, listen, hear, ears, noise, loud, quiet, silent, vibrations

Session 2 Good vibrations

Objectives

Explore sound further and investigate vibrations and how sound travels.

Science Objectives
i) Identify how sounds are made, associating some of them with something vibrating.

ii) Recognise that vibrations from sounds travel through a medium to the ear.

iii) Recognise that sounds get fainter as the distance from the sound source increases.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiries to answer them.
  2. Set up simple practical enquiries and comparative and fair tests.
  3. Report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Instructions for making a string telephone

Additional Resources

  • Drum and beater
  • Bowl of water and tuning fork (1 set per table)
  • Paper or plastic cups (with a small hole punched in the bottom)
  • Long lengths of string
  • Dry rice

Weblinks
How sound is made from www.bbc.co.uk

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Explain that sounds are made when an object vibrates and begin to understand that we hear sounds when the vibrations travel from a source through a medium to our ears.
  • Use this knowledge to recognise why sounds get fainter when you are further from the source of the sound.

Activities

  1. Learn that there are many kinds of sound and that there are many ways of making sound.
  2. Understand that sound is made through vibrations from a source.
  3. Research how sound travels.
  4. Know that sound travels through different mediums, including air, water and solids.
  5. Recognise that sounds get fainter as the distance from the sound source increases.

Investigation - exploring/problem solving
Explore sound further and investigate vibrations and how sound travels.

Vocabulary
Sound, transmit, medium, air, water, solid, vibrations, source, sound waves, particles, travel

Session 3 Pitch and volume

Objectives

Investigate pitch and volume by exploring instruments and the different sounds they make.

Science Objectives
i) Find patterns between the pitch of a sound and features of the object that produced it.

ii) Find patterns between the volume of a sound and the strength of the vibrations that produced it.

Working Scientifically

  1. Report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions.
  2. Identify differences, similarities or changes related to simple scientific ideas and processes.
  3. Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.

Other Curriculum Areas
Music

  • Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.

Extended Writing Opportunities
Explanation text: Make a picture book summarising what you have found out about sound, how to vary the pitch of a sound and the pattern between the pitch and volume of a sound.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Notice patterns between the pitch and volume of a sound and the features of the object that produced it. Use understanding of pitch and volume to answer questions about soundwaves.

Activities

  1. Understand that sound is a form of energy and will know that the more energy that is put into creating a sound, the louder the sound that is made.
  2. Look for patterns between the pitch of a sound and features of the object that produced it.
  3. Begin to see a pattern between the pitch and volume of a sound and the shape of the wave it produces.

Investigation - exploring/pattern seeking
Investigate pitch and volume by exploring instruments and the different sounds they make.

Vocabulary
Sound, volume, loudness, amplitude, pitch, soundwave, frequency

Session 4 Pardon?

Objectives

Understand how we hear sounds and begin to consider ways to reduce what we can hear.

Science Objectives
i) Identify how sounds are made, associating some of them with something vibrating.
ii) Recognise that vibrations from sounds travel through a medium to the ear.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask relevant questions and use different types of scientific enquiries to answer them.
  2. Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support their findings.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Use what they know about the world to ask and answer questions about the hearing of humans and other animals. Understand that sound travels slower than light.

Activities

  1. Begin to understand some of the workings of the human ear.
  2. Consider some of the ways we try to reduce the sounds that we hear.
  3. Understand that we hear because sound waves (vibrations) enter our ears.
  4. Explain why we see lightning before we hear thunder.

Investigation - exploring, pattern seeking, problem solving
Understand how we hear sounds and begin to consider ways to reduce what we can hear.

Vocabulary
Vibrations, sound waves, sign language

Session 5 Ssssshhhhhh!

Objectives

Plan and conduct an investigation into which material best reduces the sounds we hear.

Science Objectives
i) Recognise that vibrations from sounds travel through a medium to the ear.

ii) Recognise that sounds get fainter as the distance from the sound source increases.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask relevant questions and using different types of scientific enquiries to answer them.
  2. Set up simple practical enquiries and comparative and fair tests.
  3. Make systematic and careful observations and, where appropriate, take accurate measurements using standard units, using a range of equipment, including thermometers and data loggers.
  4. Record findings using simple scientific language, drawings, labelled diagrams, keys, bar charts, and tables
  5. Report on findings from enquiries, including oral and written explanations, displays or presentations of results and conclusions.
  6. Use results to draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions.
  7. Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support findings.

Other Curriculum Areas
This session could be linked to a Design and Technology unit on creating a functional and appealing product aimed at particular individuals if more time could be spent on the design element of the ear defenders – including product design and marketing.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Investigate sound-proofing materials by planning and conducting a fair test, considering all the variables and how to record the results.

Activities

  1. Consider reasons needed to reduce sounds and reasons for not reducing sounds.
  2. Work in a group to plan an investigation that will find out which material will best reduce sound.
  3. With help, consider the different variables of their test and plan how to ensure their investigation is fair.
  4. Record the results of the investigation and use the results to draw a conclusion.

Investigation - pattern seeking, fair testing, exploring over time, problem solving
Plan and conduct an investigation into which material best reduces the sounds we hear.

Vocabulary
Investigation, fair-test, factor (variable), prediction, results, resources, planning, muffle

Session 6 The rock star challenge

Objectives

Present your ear defenders design, and explain your findings.

Science Objectives
i) Identify how sounds are made, associating some of them with something vibrating.
ii) Recognise that vibrations from sounds travel through a medium to the ear.
iii) Find patterns between the pitch of a sound and features of the object that produced it.
iv) Find patterns between the volume of a sound and the strength of the vibrations that produced it.
v) Recognise that sounds get fainter as the distance from the sound source increases.

Working Scientifically

  1. Use straightforward scientific evidence to answer questions or to support findings.
  2. Gather, record, classify and present data in a variety of ways to help answer questions.

Other Curriculum Areas
English

  • Discuss what they are learning and to develop their wider skills in spoken language.
  • Use language in a greater variety of situations, for a variety of audiences and purposes, including through drama, formal presentations and debate.

Design and Technology

  • Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design.
  • Evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work.

Extended Writing Opportunities
Persuasive writing: Write an advertising leaflet with diagrams describing why your ear defender design is the best.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Assessment sheet

Additional Resources

  • Musician masks (1 for each adult)

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Answer questions about the results of the investigation into sound reduction and demonstrate an understanding of sound, including how it is made and how it travels.

Activities

  1. Describe product to others.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of sound by explaining why their product is the best.
  3. Provide evidence to show that the results of their product testing came from a fair test.
  4. Present findings to a panel of judges.
  5. Evaluate product against the original criteria.

Investigation - problem solving
Present ear defenders design and explain findings.

Vocabulary
Fair-test, evidence, results, conclusion, evaluate