Next Generation Science Standard Connection
This lesson connects to 1-PS4-1, because students discover that sound can make materials vibrate. Prior to this lesson I have taught about five lessons where the students discover vibrating objects make sound. Now, I am transitioning into the other part of the standard where sound can make objects vibrate. I try to use material that are relevant to my students lives or things they are familiar with, so I am going to use a speaker. When paper is held in front of a loud speaker it can make the paper vibrate. The students are going to discover this after they make a prediction. Making a prediction first helps engage students, and it gives them an opportunity to think at a higher level.
This lesson like most of my lessons begins in the lounge or carpet area where I introduce the lesson. Then we move the center of the room for the explore, explain, and elaborate. The lesson closes back at the lounge. These transition help my students persevere through lengthy lessons, because they get to move often.
Throughout the lesson the students work with a heterogeneous ability group partner. I call one peanut butter and the other jelly. So, I can say, "Talk to your peanut butter jelly partner." If I notice one partner is not participating then I can specifically tell the peanut or the jelly partner to tell their partner something. It's a nice strategy, because all of the students are participating in discourse. Plus, students can help each other, and many students enjoy working with a partner.
This is the time when I try to excite the class and really get them activating their knowledge about sound. First, I want to help my students connect back to our previous learning, so they learn to do this as a habit. It helps students make connections when they reflect upon what they have learned in prior lessons. So, I say, "Turn and tell your partner what we have previously learned about sound." I hope they say, "Vibrating objects can make sound." Then I write down on the board what I heard my students say, so I have documentation of their prior knowledge. Then I allow several students to share, since students enjoy sharing their knowledge. Plus, students tend to remember more when they are reminded about things by their peers.
Then I direct the class to the lesson image which I project on the Smart Board. I ask, "Tell your partner everything you know about speakers." I anticipate my students saying, "Speakers make noise louder." Then I ask them to tell their partner, "How can speakers make objects vibrate?" I am assessing their prior knowledge now, and I expect the student to not be able to answer the question. I just want to see if anyone actually already knows that sound travels through objects and can make them vibrate. If somebody does already know I just say, "Great we are going to explore some examples of vibrations and sound today."
Then I share the plan for the lesson by saying, "Today we are going to observe some video and make observations about how sound can effect objects."
As this section begins I tell the class to get out their science journal and write at the top of the page "sound observation." Then they need to write the date on the top right of the page. Organizing their science journal is one way I am teaching the students to keep up with their science observation. Plus, we often reflect upon our data as we go deeper into our observations, or we may use it in a culmination activity.
So, I first play about twenty seconds of video 1 and ask the students to record their observations. I am hoping the students write that they see the sound is making the paper move. The closer the paper gets to the speaker the more the paper vibrates. While they are recording their observation I walk around. If I see a student "stuck" I may replay the video and say, "Look specifically at the paper."
Then I play video two and ask the students to record their observations in their science journal. I say, "Be sure to look at what the rings on the outside of the speaker are doing as the music gets louder and as it gets softer." I hope my students observe that the louder the music the more the speaker vibrates. But, I also walk around to make sure the students are able to record something, and I may replay the video as many times as they need me to.
During this section I try to get my students to talk to each other and really share their observations. I want the class to learn to build upon each others ideas, because this can strengthen their understanding of how sound can make objects vibrate. After talking about their observations students seem to really understand what they are observing. First, they talk to their shoulder partner, then students share across their table, and last we engage in a whole class discussion.
I say, "Turn and tell your shoulder partner what you observed in in both videos. You can read straight from your notes if you need to." This helps students learn to reflect back on their observations, but they are also learning to compare observations. I often find that students change their observations or discover that what they observed really was not what they were supposed to be observing. This is fine, and this is one benefit to shoulder talk. If I observe that somebody needs to look at a video again I just play it one or two more times. Their partner often naturally explains what they see. Now, I usually say, "So, what do you see happening here to the paper or speaker?" then the partner or confused students is able to explain their observations.
Next, I ask the students to turn and tell the group across the table what they observed. Again, they are checking to make sure they observed the same thing. I am walking around to ensure that the groups are talking about the paper and the speaker vibrating. If I see a group not talking then I just stops and ask, "What did you record?"
Last, we engage in a whole group discussion where volunteers share what they observed. I ask, "Will somebody share what they observed?" Then we listen and I ask, "Will somebody add to that?" I am basically getting the students to build upon the ideas of their peers.
Now we are going to engage in an application activity. We are going to answer a research question. I first write the question on the board. Why does sound make objects vibrate? Now, I am using this question, because I know all of my students are going to ask me that after they watch the video.
I ask, "Please record our research question in your science journal." Then for sake of time I provide each child with a text: speakers make paper vibrate. Highlighting: student work is how my students find evidence in the text. I ask the students to read the text and see if they can find the answer to our research question: questions and a model. I am doing this in early February, and this would not have been appropriate for my class any earlier in the year. But, they have had support finding answers to questions, so I am going to let them try it with a partner. I walk around and monitor to see it they need help reading, since many first graders are not fluent readers at this point. Although, I adjusted the text by changing words and shortening sentences. I want the students to be able to find the answer and not get stuck decoding.
Next, I say, "Please record the answer under the question in your science journal: student work. If you finish early you may illustrate a picture of the speakers, and show how they vibrate. Be sure to use the correct colors as you draw. Our scientific illustrations need to correctly model the materials we are studying."
This is the final section of the lesson and my students get to share their answer to the question from elaboration section. I also need to assess my students on their understanding of the fact that sound makes objects vibrate, speaking skills, and the ability to give their peers' evaluation. The third big component of this section is to get the students to comply with my instructions, so I use positive behavior support.
As soon as we transition to the lounge I say, "Criss cross apple sauce pockets on the floor hands in your laps talking no more." The class chants it with me, because this is a fun way to get students to think about what I want them to do behaviorally. Then I add, "Remember to look at the speaker in the eyes, think about what they are saying, and be ready to give them feedback."
Next, I allow three students to stand in front of the group and share their answer to the question. I often have to redirect students to their notes and remind them to look at their notes. To make sure each child gets the same number of opportunities to present I use a spreadsheet that has all of the students names on it. When they present I just check their name off and we move on to the next person. After each person presents I do say, "Please give your peer some verbal feedback."What do you agree with, disagree with, or want to add to their presentation."
I use a spreadsheet to assess the students. It has their names on the left, and the columns at the top are labeled with the the assessment criteria. I put the standard 1-PS4-1, speaking, and peer feedback in the columns. So, when I see the student has mastered the standard I just put a check in the box by their name. Then I write their total score beside their name, so I can see who needs more work on the skills. I actually plan small group lessons to help my students overcome their weaknesses.