Here’s a great collection of activities, with explanations and elaborations, that I hope will enrich your resources for teaching sound. I presented this information at a workshop at the OSTA state conference.
|One example in the Evidence StatementÂ for NGSS 1-PS4-1 suggests using a tuning fork to show vibration.
That’s a fun demonstration and you might add to the demo by showing a slow motion videoÂ of a vibrating tuning fork that touches water.
Another video you might choose was created by the SloMo Guys. I like their videos but suggest you turn off the sound and discuss what’s seen because conversation before, during, and after an activity can be distracting. For this video, I suggest you watchÂ fromÂ 1:06-1:51.
|Sometimes the activity is great just the way it’s written and explained like theÂ screamingÂ balloon. This activity is one of many you can find atÂ Steve Spangler ScienceÂ that often includes simple, well done videos of the activities. Caution: ThereÂ can be distracting popup ads displayed over the video you’ll want to close as you watch.
Take a look around his collection of videos. You might find a video to share with an interested student or parent who wants to volunteer to bring an extra science activity to your classroom.
|When looking for science activities online you’ll find activities at the Exploratorium Museum like Secret Bells. I think it’s a great idea that could benefit from some refinement.
I change it by using a spoon because metal hangars aren’t always available and the hook at the top of the hangar might be unsafe for kids.
You will be amazed at what you hear if you use soup ladles, ice cream scoops, and large serving spoons.
|Here’s another example suggested by the Evidence Statement.
The activity seems to ideally fit the science expectations. What if this year’s class is reliable and you can take it a step further? Extend it with file bands, large elastic bands that can be stretched to change the sound students hear.
|Sometimes you just don’t have the equipment or time, so you could present a video and discuss with students like aÂ ChladniÂ Plate attached to a tonal deviceÂ or a Chladni Plate presented and explained byÂ Physics Girl.|
|If you viewed the Chaldni device videos I included above, you might have noticed they don’t look like the usual youtube videos. That’s because I pasted the URL for the youtube videos intoÂ ViewPure. It’s a site that deletes the ads and suggestions for more videos found on the side ofÂ a youtube page.|
|What if you don’t have time, materials, or maybe kids are distracted because of the equipment, like wine glasses with water? Again a video can be a great option, just start and stop, discuss and continue. Here’sÂ a wine glass that moves a toothpick in another wine glass.
View this video of a wine glass breaking that was filmed in slow motion. You might skip the first 30-second introduction. His explanation is very clear for adults. You can adjust it for your students.
One example of an activity in the Evidence Statement for NGSS 1-PS4-4 is paper cup phones.
|Steve Spangler ScienceÂ has a great write up but I’d suggest aÂ few fixes. I would use plastic cups not paper cups. I would tie the string to a paper clip not a pointy toothpick. I might also have kids tie the knot more securely than what you see in the video.
ConsiderÂ some online resources as a great start and then improve them. Often my students suggest improvements.
Check out a similar activity at TeachEngineering, a great resource for engineering activities. Remember to tie the knot around a paperclip. If you simply tie a knot as they show in their write-up, students will pull it through the cup, even if it’s a plastic cup.
Enjoy the activities and resources. Let me know if you’d like to share ideas or resources with others who visit this page.