This week we continued our sound exploration by doing more of the activities suggested in the PEEP science curriculum.
The children enjoyed using palm pipes to make sounds. After some free exploration with the pipes, we sat down to discuss what we’d experienced. One child noticed the long pipes made “deeper sounds” and the shorter pipes made “squeakier sounds.” I took this opportunity to introduce the terms “high” and “low” when describing pitch. We took turns tapping each pipe and calling on a friend to describe the sound as “high or low”.
Previously, the children had demonstrated some understanding that vibration was needed to make sound. I tried to reinforce this concept by playing a game with different instruments. The children were given an instrument and encouraged to “make a sound”. Next they were asked to determine where the vibration was occurring. Chenniel used the guiro and was able to explain that the stick vibrated as it “jumped in the lines”.
The gong was a clear favorite with the children, who were very impressed with its loudness. It was also a great tool for them to learn with, as they noticed the sound stopped immediately when they touched the metal with their hands. No vibration = no sound.
Outside, the children listened for sounds as we walked the perimeter of our playground and tried to guess what was making a particular sound. Being located near a highway, we heard a lot of traffic sounds. The children noticed two things: Rhianalise said, The big trucks are louder than the cars and the little trucks and Jazlyn said, The closer trucks are louder than the far away trucks.
We watched the live-action video Tracking Down Sounds:
In one part of the video children make interesting sounds by running objects against a fence. Watching this motivated the children to want to do the same. We selected several items of various sizes, shapes, and materials and duplicated the video activity on our playground fence. Here is a short video clip of the fun:
As we prepare for next week’s more focused explorations, I asked the question, What more do you WANT to know about sound? I filled in the “W” part of our K-W-L chart with their responses. I was pleased to see there’s been a lot of growth in their ability to generate questions, as compared to our earlier experiences with the K-W-L chart—this is the inquiry cycle in action! One question was, Which material is the loudest? We must now design a test to help us find the answer.