Creating An Instrument (Day 2 of Sound Assessment)

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SWBAT explain how their instrument makes noise, change pitch, and how it could be used as a communication tool.

Big Idea

Today your students will finish their assessment on sound by completing a write up about the instrument that he/she made in the previous lesson).

Setting the Stage

1 minutes

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.  On the second day, the students need to explain how their instrument works, how to change the pitch, and how they could use their instrument to communicate with someone else.

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.

Writing Task

40 minutes

Advanced Preparation:  Each student will need their instrument from the previous lesson and a copy of Sound Performance Task.  

"Today you are going to complete a write up about the instrument that you created.  It will be very important that you take your time and are detailed with your drawings and explanations.  Your grade will be based on how well you explain your answers."

I choose to go over the first question as a whole group and then let the students get started.  This way they can check in with me after each question and then read the next one to them (if needed).  I choose to do this so that the students are only focusing on one question at a time.  I want to emphasize the importance of slowing down and being detailed with their explanations.

"You can use colored pencils to enhance your diagrams and you can also use the words from the unit vocabulary wall."

In order to assess the NGSS standard of creating a device that creates sound and can be used to communicate over a distance.  

In order to make sure students understand the questions being asked, I have them check in with me after each question.  This way I can make sure each child is clear on the expectation of the question and don't get hung up on reading the question.  

Evaluating Their Work

1 minutes

I collect each students instrument and write up and use the Grade 1_2 Sound rubric to evaluate their work.  This rubric is set up to match our report card grading system of a 1-4.  

In addition to the rubrics, you should focus on if students can explain why a person can hear their instrument make noise.  Does the student demonstrate an understanding that the instrument is somehow creating sound waves?  That there is some form of vibration that is happening because of the waves.