Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

English Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Learning task 4

Language and literacy intention(s) We are able to explain how sound travels through different substances.
Opportunities for key competencies development Thinking
Using Language Symbols & Texts
Relating to Others
Managing Self
Principles and values coherence High Expectations
Learning to Learn

Big Idea – Sounds change as they move from one substance to another


What You Need

  • 3 clip lock plastic bags
  • Water
  • Sand
  • Pencil

What You Do

Put sand into one plastic bag so that it is half full. Seal but remove as much air as you can.

Do the same with a second bag but this time use water.

Inflate the third plastic bag with air making sure it is the same size as the other two bags.

Take one bag at a time lay it on a cleared table. Put your ear on the bag and gently tap the table top.

Can you hear anything?

Do the same with the other two bags.

Through which bag did you hear the sound best?

What To Look For

Do children understand that sound travels better through some materials than others?

What would happen if …

The liquids were changed from water to: milk, soft drink, oil?

The sand was changed to: pink batts insulation, cotton balls, sawdust, etc?
What other materials might you try?

Applications to the real world

How are your findings used in the real world of ….

The home?
Any other ideas?

Students work on their own or in pairs, to discuss and record their ideas, and justification, for real life examples of sound travelling through air, liquid, solid template (PDF 59KB) .

Students then share their ideas in small groups and need to be prepared to justify their ideas to their peers

Assessment Activities, Self, Peer and Teacher

In pairs or small groups to confirm and increase understanding of key scientific words students solve the Definition Match (PDF 81KB) task.

This requires students to match the meanings of words to the scientific term.

The teacher makes the decision on how many definition match cards there will be (not all need to be used) and to administer this based on their knowledge of the learners.
Possible ways of doing this are:
In pairs, removing the strips from an envelope and then sorting the pieces so that the definitions match with the term

The teacher reads the definitions aloud several times and the students select and order the key words in order to match the definitions read aloud. (This needs to be read aloud several times by the teacher)

Another option is to have the students select two or three scientific words, write the definition and replicate the Definition Match with their own cards (this can also be used as an assessment opportunity by the teacher)

Assessment opportunities by the teacher using the teaching as inquiry framework

Observation of students’ conversations and working in groups

  1. What information about the student’s learning and knowledge have I gained?
  2. What are the implications for my teaching
  3. What are the next learning steps - conceptual understanding, vocabulary, learner needs?

Published on: 21 Jan 2011