In celebration of Better Hearing & Speech month, students in my speech room are continuing learning about hearing and sound with these fun, interactive activities! In my last post, I showed an activity for analyzing sounds. Here are four more (for a grand total of five) to help your students learn about sound and hearing. Please note that prior to these activities, we learned about sound with my hearing packets in my TpT store.
ACTIVITY #1: To further understand how the ear drum works, we covered a bowl tightly with plastic wrap and dropped a few teaspoons of rice on top.
Now for the fun part! Students held a metal pan in the air next to the bowl and banged on the pan (a metal spoon works better than the wooden one pictured here). The rice will move and jump because of the sound waves that are made when the spoon hits the pan. This is a good time to talk about how the plastic, like the ear drum, vibrates.
ACTIVITY #2: To demonstrate how sound waves move, students sat across from each other (my little ones liked sitting on the floor) held on to the ends of a slinky. One student held their end of the slinky still while the other moved the slinky from side to side. At this point we discussed what they observed. The motion creates “waves” that move down the slinky toward the student whose end is kept still. We made predictions about what would happen to the waves if they both moved their end at the same time. Interestingly, the slinky will move just like sound waves–in only one direction at a time!
ACTIVITY #3: To teach more about sound, and work on descriptive language, have students chew different food and listen to the sounds they make. I used bread, carrots, banana, and chips. After describing, comparing and contrasting the sounds, I had my students cover their ears with their hands while chewing. We referred back to the illustrations of the middle ear and pointed out the Eustachian Tube. I explained this tube connects our ears to our throat. When we plug our ears from the outside, we can still hear sounds from the inside of our mouth through this tube. Everything sounds louder because we are blocking outside noises!
ACTIVITY #4: To help students understand how sounds are amplified, try this fun activity. Cut a piece of cotton yarn (nylon will not work) about 18 inches long. Carefully punch a hole in the bottom center of a plastic cup. Tie one end of the yarn to the middle of a paper clip. Push the other end of the yarn through the hole in the cup and pull it through. Next, get a piece of folded paper towel and make it damp in some water. Now it’s time to make “chicken sounds”! Hold the cup firmly in one hand, and wrap the damp paper towel around the string near the cup. While you squeeze the string, pull down in short jerks. The vibrations from the string are amplified by the cup, making a strange “chicken sound”! Here’s a link to the activity from Science Bob.
Are there any fun activities you’ve tried to teach your students about sound and hearing?