Understanding the Ear

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SWBAT gain information about how the ear works through the use of a guest speaker.

Big Idea

Today a guest speaker will present information about how the ear works. Through the use of a giant model, the students will see how sound waves travel through the ear.

Setting the Stage

1 minutes

This marks the first lesson in our sound unit.  A guest speaker from the State's Deaf and Hard of Hearing program will speak to the class about how the ear works.  She will use a giant sized model to demonstrate how waves travel through the ear and vibrate off the eardrum.  The class will end with the creation of an ear diagram.   

Our district has not moved toward implementation of the NGSS yet.  However, sound waves is a concept that is in our current curriculum.  I am pushing my students toward the full NGSS expectations of both light and sound waves.  Since it is above what the district requires, I am can push the students to go beyond the expectations.  Below is the district Grade Expectations for this unit.

Grade Expectations:

S1-2:7 Students demonstrate their ability to EXPLAIN DATA by…
  • Developing a reasonable explanation based upon observations (e.g., I found out…).
S1-2:29 Students demonstrate their understanding of Sound Energy by…
  • Investigating different objects, observing and describing the vibrations of those objects and the sounds that are made.

Science Concepts:

    a. Sound is caused by vibrating objects.

Guest Speaker

30 minutes

The students gather on the carpet to hear the guest speaker.  I have invited a friend in to speak to the class.  She works for a deaf and hard of hearing program in our state.  I wanted her to explain to the students how the ear works and how sound travels.  In order to gain a better understanding of the concepts presented in this unit, I feel this background information will be helpful and beneficial. I have included two clips (Ear presentation 1 & Ear presentation 2) of the presentation.  This way you can use these in place of a speaker.   

My goal for this presentation is that the students understand that sound waves are created and travel into the outer ear.  The waves go through the middle ear and vibrate of the ear drum.  The bones in the inner ear detect the movement and send a signal to the brain.  

Creating a Model

20 minutes

After the guest speaker leaves, I gather the students back on the carpet and have them face the Smart board.  I want to use the video to reinforce how sound travels to our brain.

"I would like you to watch this video. The video summarizes what Camilla shared with us today.  When the video is over, I would like you to use your science notebooks to draw a diagram of the ear and then explain how it works."

The purpose of this activity is to get the students to understand that sound waves travel through our ear and are sent to the our brain.  I am not expecting mastery of who the mechanics of the ear work but rather just gaining an understanding that sounds waves travel through the ear.