Creating An Instrument (Day 1 of Sound Assessment)

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SWBAT design an instrument that makes sound.

Big Idea

The students will have a variety of materials to take on the challenge of making an instrument that makes sound.

Setting the Stage

1 minutes

Materials:  You will need a variety of tubes, empty containers, lids, etc., tape, sticks, dry beans, plastic wrap, rubber bands, empty boxes.  I ask parents to collect things from home and send them in before I start this unit.

I am required to give this two day, end of sound unit, assessment.  I like this task because on the first day the students are asked to design and build an instrument that makes noise.  The task is requiring them to create an object that creates vibrations which in turn make a sound.  

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.


Designing An Instrument

30 minutes

Advanced Preparation:you will need a variety of tubes, empty containers, lids, etc., tape, sticks, dry beans.

"Today you are going to be given the task of designing an instrument that makes noise.  You can use any materials that you would like.  You must be able to somehow change the sound of your instrument while you are playing it.  When the class is finished, each of you all present your instrument to the class."

If students are struggling with this part of the assessment, I will guide them in the design.  As you can see from the Grade 1_2 Sound rubric, students who get assistance will only be able to score a 2 on the device aspect of the rubric.

On the whiteboard, I will write:  Task:  Create an instrument that makes noise.  This way the students can see that as a reminder of their task.  

Presenting Their Instruments

10 minutes

I gather the students on the carpet so that they can share their instruments.  I chose to have them share to help reinforce the use of the unit's vocabulary words as students present.  I expect them to use these words when they get to the write up aspect of this assessment.

"I would like you all to bring your instruments to the carpet.  I will ask that you each share the instrument that you made and talk about how it works (Explaining instrument 1 & Explaining instruments 2).  I want you to use words like sound, vibration, pitch, volume, and/or any other word from our vocabulary wall."

The district evaluation component will come with tomorrow's lesson.  However, as students are presenting, I will use stick it notes for each student and record if they refer to ways of changing pitch and volume.  The reason being, the student write up (in tomorrow's lesson) will ask them to explain how to do this.  If the students aren't clear in their writing, I can refer to these notes.  I use stick it notes, so that I can place the notes write on their write up the nest day.  This way I have information on each student all in one place.