Anthony Zickefoose S13

Anthony Zickefoose's Explore Your World Day Project


Final Project
Anthony Zickefoose & Brandon Blunk

1. Introduction

• The topic for this unit is sound. Sound is a vital part of our existence and can be taken for granted. With it being so vital, but also subjective, sound is something we should understand in its entirety.

• The students will be experiencing and experimenting with sound so they can build an all-inclusive definition of it for themselves.

2. Unit Map or Description

• For this unit, the topic of sound will be broken down into the following subunits; how sound is made, how sound is received, patterns within the previous categories, and uses for sound.

3. Conceptual Explanations

• Students will experiment with sound to build a base understanding of how sound is created, how it is interpreted, and the patterns within those categories so as to link this to the many uses for sound.

4. Engagement, Inquiry, and End Product

• A teacher could use questions that lead toward simple experiments, observations, or larger project that test the student’s theories on what is happening when a sound is made or heard.

• Use a nonlinear approach by having a class discussion about the uses of sound and help the students develop an idea or experiments based on sound from the discussion.

• We will have conversations or experiments that open the classroom up to theorizing what sound is and how it acts. The theorizing can, and will be, done in independent journal reflections as well as class discussions. I would estimate a 70/30 split between student directed and teacher directed. I will have specific experiments picked, and I will bring whatever I can think of make and discover sound, but ultimately my presence will influence the direction of exploration.

• For the subunits, the students will mostly be discussing, observing, and exploring sound. Journals will be done by the students and they will be kept at the end of each class for assessment. The students will need to assemble some kind of project based on sound that will be done at the end of the lesson. It can be a research paper, an experiment in creating sound, a song made from homemade instruments, or any other ideas given by the students that will demonstrate their progress in grasping the concept of sound.

5. Sub-Unit Activities, Inquiries, Inquiry Questions, and Data Analyses

•Concept: How is sound generated? How does sound move? What are high/mid/low frequency/rate?
Activity: Have a collection of things to make homemade instruments. This can include wires, toilet paper rolls, rubber bands, fabric, things to make horns, pipes to bang on, etc.
Activity: Using the computer, a microphone, and a vacuum chamber, have the students witness how the sound waves are different with the mic in the chamber and outside of it. Using a stethoscope pressed up against a large jug of water, have the students listen to the sound of the classroom through the water. Have different shaped and sized tubes for the children to manipulate the sound with.
Activity: Using tuner forks, guitar strings, keyboards, etc. to experiment on what high/mid/low frequencies sound like.
Activity: Plucking a single guitar string in front of a strobe like to show each individual vibration pattern
Activity: Viewing high/mid/low wave length frequencies digitally through computer software when speaking or playing an instrument into a microphone or tuner.

What are the instruments you made doing to make noise?
What can you do to a single instrument to make it create a different sound and why does it work or not work?
Did you notice any instruments that sounded good together, or sounded badly together?
What is making the sound change?
What happens to sound in the vacuum?
What about when hearing sound through water?
What sound waves would go through the water the best?
Why did you get the results you did with sound in a vacuum?
What did you experience when listening to each individual frequency?
What did you notice about the different ways the string was being plucked?
What happened when we changed the length of the string?
What would happen if we changed how tight the string is?

•Objective: How is sound received?
Activity: In groups, the class will have 3D pull apart models of the human ear to look at while the class engages in a conversation about how the ear drum and the brain work to interpret sound. Have information on the human brain and the parts that receive and interpret sound.
Activity: Have students play with stereo verses mono. Have music that is in stereo and play it, then change it to mono and listen for the difference. Try having students put a ear plug in one ear and move about the classroom engaging in conversation or experiments. Find out what the students experienced.

What happens when a person thinks they heard something?
Why do you think it was environmentally appropriate to hear in stereo versus mono?
Imagine what it would be like to lose your hearing, either in partial or totally.
Thinking about what we know about how sound is created, is the shape of our ear important?
How are animal ears different than ours and is their shape important?

•Concept: Patterns can be seen in sound when looking at their wave lengths. Patterns can be found in the meter of sound. There are patterns that are present in the binary of harmony and dissonance.
Activity: Put print outs of different sound waves on the students tables and ask them to discuss with each other the different patterns found in the images.
Activity: Have a metronome playing at a predetermined tempo and have two or three song samples that have the same tempo. Play each sample with the metronome at the same speed to show the similarities. Play a few more songs with varying tempos and have the students clap softly to the beat. Lastly, find clips of famous speeches or monologues and have the students attempt to derive a tempo and beat from them. Use random sound from the city or from nature to derive beats.
Activity: Using a piano, play two notes that harmonize and ask the students to compare that sound to the sound of dissonance. Have the students try to create harmony using their own voice or their homemade instruments. Use tuning forks to produce harmony and dissonance. Let the students use the piano to see the pattern in the octaves. Play something like an acapella group to hear good harmonizing.

What do you think is the audible difference between some of the wave lengths?
How do you think the different wave lengths would react if put into a different medium other than air?
Is tempo important, why or why not?
What are some tempos found in your everyday life?
Why can you feel some beats but only hear others?
What did you hear and feel when you heard harmony? What about dissonance?
Did you notice anything while making harmony and dissonance?

•Concept: How is sound used and manipulated?
Activity: Based off of our sub-unit on high and low frequencies and their effects have students brainstorm and research different ways sound can be used for destruction.
Activity: Break students into groups and have them create their very own form of communication outside of speaking in English or writing of any kind.
Activity: Have students do group research on ways humans and other organisms use sound to communicate.
Activity: Pick a few sentences to have translated into as many different languages as possible and get an audio recording of each one. Play the different languages back to back a few times to see if they discover any patterns or notice anything.
Activity: Have student’s brainstorm and research different ways sound can be used for survival (Morse code, mating calls, scare tactics etc…). Have a class discussion.

•Questions: What were some things you discovered in your research?
Are some frequencies better at some things then others?
What is important in a language and is verbal language necessary?
What are some other ways people or other organisms use to communicate through sound?
What are other ways to communicate other than speaking?

• All data will be collected in the student’s science journals. Throughout the day and at the end of the day, the students write about what they saw and experienced, then turn it in for assessment. Drawings should be sketched, measurements taken, notes taken, and hypothesis made.

• The information should be presented as outlined, as it follows a natural progression covering all aspects of a large topic.

6. Transdisciplinary (Integrative) and Patterns Opportunities

• The subject of sound crosses many of the disciplinary categories. There are many famous names that can be researched, from scientists to musicians. You can also research the time periods of the scientists or musician. Sound waves can be broken down into parabolas or measure how fast sound travels for math. Literature can be implemented by reading material on the scientists or musicians or stories about sound can be read in class or individually. You can reference the Wind Talkers for social studies or listen to other country’s national anthems and find patterns within them. Patterns such as binaries are prevalent, spheres when it comes to air molecules, action/reaction binaries with air molecules moving, a sheet is present with the ear drum as well as in many things that make sound (i.e. drums), tubes are present in xylophones and guitar strings, and sound travels in an outward circular pattern.

7. Assessment

• During the activities, students will be assessed on their engagement in the activity as well as conversation. The student’s science journals will be assessed for engagement as well as understanding/inquisitiveness. At the end of the unit, a presentation will be done by the students to assess what the students got out of the unit. This presentation can be done in any fashion that demonstrates the student’s knowledge and interest in sound.

8. Implementation
As this class unit is a hypothetical unit based of a single experiment done in sound, no reflection upon implementation material is applicable to this unit. Please see individual student’s “Explore Your World Day” reflections for specific critical analysis of our experiment implementations.

9. References, Resources, and Other Information
• No reference material is currently needed. Reference material will be needed if doing research activities or if you are in need of different activities. Some software may be required for some activities.

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