Children learn that sounds are caused by vibrations. They learn that sounds travel from an object, through a medium (usually the air), travel into the ear where they are carried down the ear canal and processed by the brain. Children complete an explanation text explaining how we hear things, by cutting and pasting or writing their own descriptions.
Children investigate how effective 5 different materials are at blocking sound. Recognising the difficulty of accurately measuring the loudness of a sound, they make each measurement 3 times and choose the median. Children use their results to create a bar chart and place the materials in order of effectiveness as sound insulators.
Children learn about the difference between pitch and volume. They carry out an investigation where they place 5 different water containers in order, depending on the pitch made when air is gently blown across the top of each. They attempt to find a pattern and explain their results.
Children explore how a string instrument makes a sound. Using an ice cream tub, elastic bands, and Lego blocks, they create their own string instrument. They explore how adding more Lego blocks affects the pitch of each string (band).
Children learn that pitch and volume are two different properties of sounds. Children investigate the pitch and volume of the sound made when 5 different balls are dropped. Recognising the difficulty of measuring pitch and volume without equipment, children make 5 measurements and then choose the modal value. Children transfer their results to a scatter graph showing both pitch and volume.
Children investigate how dropping a weight from different heights ont a drum affects the volume of the sound produced. Recognising the difficulty of measuring volume without equipment, children take each measurement 5 times and find the mean. Children create a line graph showing their results and attempt to explain the relationship between the height of the weight and the volume of the sound made.
Working on the yard or in the school hall, children investigate the maximum distance at which somebody can hear one of 5 body sounds (hand clap, sniff, cough, foot stamp and thigh slap). They place each sound in order of loudness and create a bar chart showing their results. They discuss the difficulty of getting accurate results without measuring equipment and ways of improving the investigation.
Working on the school yard, children investigate the height a ball needs to be dropped from in order to be heard at different distances. Children predict and then measure the minimum height required, recording their results in a table. They create a line graph and explore the link between the distance and the miniumum height (and therefore volume) required.