Outstanding Science | Primary Science Resources for the National Curriculum

Primary Science Resources for the National Curriculum

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KS2 - Year 4 - Sound

How we hear thingsFree! 

Outstanding Science Year 4 - Sound | OS4D001

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.

  • 4d1: identify how sounds are made, associating some of them with something vibrating
I can explain how sounds are made and how we hear things.
Outstanding Science Year 4 - Sound | How we hear things

Sound insulation 

Outstanding Science Year 4 - Sound | OS4D002

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.

  • 4d2: recognise that vibrations from sounds travel through a medium to the ear
I can investigate how well sound travels through different materials.
Outstanding Science Year 4 - Sound | Sound insulation

Investigating pitch 

Outstanding Science Year 4 - Sound | OS4D003

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.

  • 4d3: find patterns between the pitch of a sound and features of the object that produced it
I can place different sounds in order of pitch.
Outstanding Science Year 4 - Sound | Investigating pitch

Making a string instrument 

Outstanding Science Year 4 - Sound | OS4D004

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).

  • 4d3: find patterns between the pitch of a sound and features of the object that produced it
I can make a tuned string instrument.
Outstanding Science Year 4 - Sound | Making a string instrument

Pitch and volume 

Outstanding Science Year 4 - Sound | OS4D005

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.

  • 4d4: find patterns between the volume of a sound and the strength of the vibrations that produced it
I can place sounds in order of pitch and volume.
Outstanding Science Year 4 - Sound | Pitch and volume

Investigating volume 

Outstanding Science Year 4 - Sound | OS4D006

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.

  • 4d4: find patterns between the volume of a sound and the strength of the vibrations that produced it
I can investigate how to affect the volume of a percussion instrument.
Outstanding Science Year 4 - Sound | Investigating volume

Sound and distance 

Outstanding Science Year 4 - Sound | OS4D007

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.

  • 4d5: recognise that sounds get fainter as the distance from the sound source increases.
I can investigate how distance affects how well we can hear a sound.
Outstanding Science Year 4 - Sound | Sound and distance

Distance and volume 

Outstanding Science Year 4 - Sound | OS4D008

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.

  • 4d5: recognise that sounds get fainter as the distance from the sound source increases.
I can investigate the relationship between distance and volume.
Outstanding Science Year 4 - Sound | Distance and volume