In my five senses unit, I dedicate two lessons for each sense. The first lesson is an inquiry lesson in which the students engage in an experiment to trigger questioning and build background knowledge. The second lesson shares more information about that specific sense to help expand the students' understanding.
To begin the lesson, I take a piece of chart paper and I ask the students, What do you know about your sense of hearing? I record the responses on the paper. There are not a lot of ideas to record at this point in time, but soon there will be more!
For this activity, you will need eight, small opaque containers to hold different items. I have used film containers, but they are getting hard to come by. I have some small specimen containers that I have spray painted. You could also use baby food containers or jars, spray painting them or covering them with duct tape.
Label 4 of the containers with numbers. Label the other four with different colors of color-coding dots.
You will also need four different items to put in the containers to make "shakers". Some ideas include:
Each group needs two containers of each sound (one with a number and one with a color). Put some of each of the sound items inside a container. Make sure that the same sound has the same number for each group. For example, the number one and the blue dot container at each table should have rice in it.
I put the four containers with the colored dots in a tray at each table. I keep the containers with the numbers. It is confusing for the students to put both sets of containers on their tables. I hand them out as we use them.
You will need a Sound Recording Sheet for each student, included as a PDF with the lesson. I have the students write their name on the sheet and then I have them get out the four crayons that match the color coding dots we used. I then give them the following instructions:
Boys and girls, we are going to use our sense of hearing to match some sounds. I am going to give each table a container with an item in it. I want you to shake the container and listen to the noise it makes. Then, you need to try to find the container from the ones that are on your table that makes the same sound. You might need to listen to the first container again to try to match the sound and that's okay. When you think you have the correct sound, look at the color on that container. You will be recording that color on your sheet.
I pass out the first sound container to the tables and have them listen to it. I then have them look for the matching sound. See video. When they find the sound that they think is a match, I have them color the circle next to the number 1, the color of the matching sound. I collect the first sound and then pass out the number two sound. See picture. We continue until we have gone through all the sounds. I have the students circle the sound they think can identify. We clean up and then move on to our discussion.
After we clean up, I shake each container and ask them to identify what was the item in each container making the sound. I reveal what was in each container.
I ask the following questions:
How did you know what was making the noise in some of the containers?
Were some sounds easier to match than others? What sounds were the easiest to match? Why do you think it was easier?
Did you use any sense besides your sense of hearing to do this activity?
Of all animals, bats have the best sense of hearing. Why do you think bats have such a good sense of hearing?
At the end of the lesson, we revisit the chart paper and record additional information that the students may have.