Explain to the students that they will be working in small groups to investigate how sound waves travel.
Provide the students with a copy of the Science Experiment – Sound Research. Read through the first page of the experiment booklet as a class and check that the students understand the method.
Remind the students that, when conducting experiments, scientists make a statement (hypothesis) about what they think will happen. Support the students to choose one of the hypothesis options, then record their predictions about whether or not they will be able to hear the sound from each of the four listening positions.
Monitor and support the students as they conduct the experiment in small groups, rotating through the listening positions. Support the students to complete the results section of the experiment. For the discussion section, draw the first two diagrams that depict how the sound travels as a whole class. Encourage the students to draw the third and fourth diagrams independently.
Encourage the students to independently write a conclusion for the experiment, explaining whether or not their hypothesis was correct.
Allow the students to share their results from the experiment. Ask guiding questions, such as:
What did you discover?
What can you learn from your results?
How might this information be useful for scientists?
Refer back to the choice of hypotheses: Sound does/does not travel in a straight line. Discuss which statement is true. Inform the class that if sound does travel in a straight line, it wouldn’t be heard if something was in the way. Use the observations from the experiment to support a conclusion.
Collect the students’ experiment booklets. These could be included in a portfolio of work samples and used to assess the students’ understanding of the unit objectives.
Encourage more capable students to independently attempt all of the diagrams in the discussion section of the experiment.
Support less confident students with all four diagrams in the discussion section of the experiment.
Suggested Assessment Strategies
used strategic whole class or individual questioning
observed student participation during learning activities