This sound energy unit guide is an update of the 2014 unit draft and focuses students on explaining the phenomenon of a singer shattering a glass with his voice. To explain this phenomenon, students gather evidence about vibrations, pitch, volume, resonance, and how sound travels to develop an explanation around how and why this phenomenon occurs. These ideas also inform students’ engineering design to design and test a prototype to address a noisy place problem in their school community.
Although lessons about musical instruments are not included in this unit, that is a relevant avenue to explore with students as many students may play instruments as part of band or orchestra. There are many experiences students bring up during this unit which are rich for productive conversations. For example, airplane noise from flying overhead, sounds of sirens or honking, how elephants communicate feeling vibrations in the ground, etc. and many other references they share from things they’ve seen, read about, or experienced. Feel free to adjust or add in additional lessons based in students’ experiences. The science ideas captured in this unit can be explored through many different contexts.
This 135 page file updates the original 2014 draft which is still available on the tools page. Please feel free to make changes to the student tools within this file and to add or change activities based on the ideas your students bring up in class. Links go to GoogleDrive documents which can be saved and edited.