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Sound Waves

Resources for a lesson about sound, created by Jay Hopp, John Patrick, & Steve Katz.

Objective: Students will demonstrate scientific analysis by matching instruments with the sound waves they produce when recorded with GarageBand.

This is an introductory lesson on sound. Students may or may not have already participated in other activities with sound such as testing the different sounds when tapping wine glasses filled with different levels of water, or making “waves” using a jump rope (see sound resources below).

Steps:
1. Explain the lesson to students. Go over all procedures.
2. Demonstrate how to play each instrument.
3. Give a set of sound wave cards & 3 instruments to each group.
4. Students make predictions of which instrument goes with which sound wave. (This is where the real learning happens, when the students debate which are matches.
5. Students record instruments and analyze their predictions. (Use videos of instruments to make sure students record the same way the teacher did.)

Videos demonstrating how to play each of the instruments:

 

Sound Lesson Handouts (.zip file of all handouts below)

Handouts:

GarageBand Instructions

Instruments and Waves

Sound Waves

Sound Wave Prediction Sheet

Good Vibrations Song Creation

Sound resources from Jay Hopp:

Catch a Wave

The Wave Gallery

A. STEP REMIX. Go to http://www.exploratorium.edu/music/exhibits/stepping/index.html
Develop a cool song and share it with two classmates

B. DOT MIXER. Go to http://www.exploratorium.edu/music/exhibits/dotmixer/index.html
Experiment with the Dot Mixer.
Read about it, by clicking on “What’s going on?”
Answer the following questions in your Science Journal;
a. What is “mixing” regarding sound?
b. What does it mean that “human hearing is binaural?”
c. What are two key pieces of information your brain uses to decide where sounds are coming from?
d. What does it mean that “music is constantly being “mixed” around you?”

C. AUDIO PONG. Go to http://www.exploratorium.edu/listen/activities/dean/audio_pong/activity_pong.php
Play for 5-10 minutes
Answer in your Science Journal: What is “sound localization?”

D. WAVE ON A STRING. Go to http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/wave-on-a-string
Following the instructions and complete the mini-packet (get from Substitute Teacher): “Wave Properties with Waves on a String Simulation”.
Turn in mini-packet to Substitute Teacher

Good Sound Links:
http://www.ndt-ed.org/EducationResources/HighSchool/Sound/hs_sound_index.htm
http://www.school-for-champions.com/science/sound.htm
http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/sound/
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/%E2%80%8Chbase/sound/soucon.html#soucon