Band Camp

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SWBAT identify how a variety of instruments make sounds through vibrations.

Big Idea

Today our classroom will be transformed into Band Camp! A variety of instruments will be available for exploration as students try to identify how vibrations are produced.

Setting the Stage

1 minutes

Advanced Preparation:  I meet with the music teacher before I get to this lesson.  I wanted to make sure he had a variety of instruments available for me to use. 

The students will explore a variety of musical instruments.  They will use their science notebooks to record how each instrument creates vibrations when played.  The students will also have videos about each instrument available to give them more knowledge about it.

The lesson starts with the students gathering on the carpet to learn about today's lesson.  They will then work in pairs as they work with each interment and try to identify how it works and what produces the vibrations.  The lesson ends with a discussion about their findings.  O am choosing a variety of instruments to allows students to explore the cause and effects of vibrations in a variety of ways.   This sets them up for out district assessment that asks them to create a device that makes sound and that can have its pitch or volume changed while playing.

Our district has not moved toward implementation of the NGSS yet.  However, light waves are a concept that are 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.


10 minutes

Today's lesson serves as a preparation for the sound assessment task.  To engage the students and get them thinking about musical instruments and how they produce sound, I will show them the following video (shoe them as much of it as you feel necessary).

"I want to start today's lesson by showing you a video.  I want you to watch and see how the artists create noise with their instruments and how they change the volume and pitch of the instruments."  

"Now that you have watched it, what did you notice?  Today, you are going to explore a variety of instruments and explore how they make noise, and how you can control the volume and pitch." 


30 minutes

Advanced Preparation:  Lay out the instruments around the room so that their is plenty of room for students to explore but not interfere with another group.  The gymnasium may serve as a better place for this.  Next to each instrument should be an iPad or laptop.  Each instrument will have a video of how it works.  

"I would like you to set up your science notebooks for today's entry.  The focus will be vibrating instruments.  Today you will work with a partner to explore a variety of of instruments around the room.  When you get to an instrument, you should draw it in for notebook.  Then you can either try it out and figure who vibrations are created, or you can watch the video and then try it."

"The instruments are guitarGuiraSnare DrumSymbolClaveTriangle, and Tamborine."



10 minutes

I end the lesson by gathering the students back on the carpet for science circle.  The focus of this discussion is about how each instrument created a vibration.  This conversation reinforces the expectation that vibrating materials can make sound.

"I would like you to bring your science notebooks to the carpet for science circle.  I would like you to talk about what you learned about each instrument and how sound is created when you play the instrument."

In this case, I am including a video that captured a conversation that I had with a group as they worked.  The conversation is what is important and is what you are looking for during the science circle conversation.  


10 minutes

To end this last lesson in the sound unit, I ask the students to answer the same question that I started the unit with. 

"I am going to blow this whistle.  I want you to listen to it and then in your science notebook, explain to me how you hear that sound.  What happens to the sound waves to let you know that a whistle was blown?  I want you to draw a diagram in your science notebook and then use words to explain what is happening."

By asking the same question (conceptually the same), I can compare their answers from the beginning of the unit compared to the end of the unit.