Can You Hear Me Now?-Exploring Our Sense of Hearing

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Students will be able to describe what their sense of hearing is and the body structure associated with it by classifying different types of sounds.

Big Idea

Observation is such an important part of science work. This lesson helps students better understand what their sense of hearing is, preparing them for using it as part of their science observation skills.


5 minutes

In my five senses unit, I dedicate two lessons for each sense.  The first lesson is an exploratory lesson.  It is designed to help the students develop a basic understanding about the sense and to participate in an activity that helps to build background and make connections for the students.  The second lesson for each sense has a hands-on experiment that the students participate in.

I like to begin each of my Five Senses lessons with a YouTube video song.  We actually end up replaying several of the songs as they start to become favorites of the students.  This one is called The Five Senses and it's to the tune of  "If You're Happy and You Know It".


After the song, the students gather around my chair for a story.


15 minutes

For this part of the lesson, you will need a piece of chart paper with the word "hearing" written at the top.  You will also need an introductory book on the five senses.  I like to use the book Hearing by Rebecca Rissman.  This book is a simple read that is available in both English and Spanish.  I like how each book in the series reviews the five senses before it goes into each individual sense in depth.  It can be purchased through many bookstores, including Amazon.

I begin the lesson by asking the students what they know about the sense of hearing.  I record their responses on the chart paper and then I say to them,  Today we are going to continue to learn more about our five sense by exploring our sense of hearing with this book.  This book gives us true information.  It is called a non-fiction or expository text.

I then read the story to the students.  When we are done reading, we return to the chart and add more information to our chart. The chart is displayed in our classroom to provide a real-world example of reading and writing for the students and we also reference the chart in upcoming lessons.

Guided Practice

15 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, I use my SmartBoard.  If you have a SmartBoard, the file Hearing can easily be downloaded and opened.  If you have a different type of interactive whiteboard, you can still use this lesson by opening the file in Smart Notebook Express.  Click here to download. There is also a PDF of the slides so you can recreate this part of the lesson.  Click here to access them:  Hearing Smartboard Slides PDF.

Because many of my students have not had exposure to sounds in the file, I download the sounds that go with the pictures from various free sites and add hyperlinks to the slides to the sounds.  This is one site, but there are many others.  The slides must be saved on your computer and cannot be part of the Notebook file. 

These sounds will help the students distinguish between the sounds made by each object.  This will also expand their vocabulary.

I gather my students in front of the Smartboard.  I have cards with each student's name printed on that I use to call on students so I distribute questioning fairly among the students. 

I tell the students, We are going to be thinking about the different sounds that we are able to hear.  Listen carefully to the questions to see if you can circle the correct sound. 

We begin working at the Smartboard with the students going up and circling which thing makes the sound being asked for in the question.  Because not as many students will get the opportunity to go up, I have them discuss with a partner which thing should be circled. 

Like the other five senses lessons, this one gives the opportunity for the students to develop critical thinking skills that will help them develop as scientists.  The students are analyzing and drawing conclusions about the different types of sounds.  Often times, we structure lessons to give the students the answer (This is a loud sound...etc.).  This lesson challenges the students to really think about the different sounds.

At the end of this section, the students return to their seats for independent practice.

Independent Practice and Informal Assessment

20 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, you will need the I Can Hear student book included as a PDF with this lesson.  This file contains a book and the last page has some items for students to cut out and glue in the book.  You will need one of these pages for every two students.  Just cut them apart.  I duplicate the book on white paper and staple it on the side  I then cut around the outside so it is in the shape of an ear (see picture). 

The students will need scissors and glue.  If time permits, the students can also use crayons. 

I distribute the books to the students and have them write their name on the front cover.  I say to the students, It's time for us to share what we have learned about our sense of hearing with our family.  We are going to be making a book that shows some of the different sounds we can hear. 

I read the pages for the students and explain to them that they will be looking at the pictures on the half sheet to find something that fits on the page.  I tell them, For example, if it says, "I hear loud sounds", I will look for a picture of something that is loud and glue it on that page.  The pictures might work in more than one place.  After you have one picture on each page, you can add another one. Some pages might have 2 or 3 pictures.  Others may have only one.  There isn't one way to do this book. My book might look different than my neighbors and that's okay. On the last page, you will draw a picture of you and your cute ears!

The students begin working.  This is a challenging activity since many sounds can be classified more than one way.  i.e.-loud and low.  The students will need support reading the pages and possibly deciding which picture goes where.  As you can see from these sample pages, low and high did cause some confusion for some of the students: Sample 1  Sample 2

When the students are done, I have them read their books to a partner to provide closure for the lesson and also to reinforce their learning.  Many of the students were excited to read their book to me:  Can You Hear Me Now Video

I really like how this lesson pushes and challenges the students to be critical thinkers.  I used the pictures since the students may not be familiar with things that make the different noises the objects make.  The multiple attributes of the objects raises the difficulty level.