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Exploring Sound: The Investigation

Sunday, January 11, 2015

I had noticed early on that a majority of the kids in this class were exploring sound in their play. They were constantly creating things and showing me how they made sound!  This was also happening on the playground. I knew that this group would be very interested in doing an in depth sound inquiry. I asked them what they wondered about sound. Most of their questions were centered around how instruments work.  This gave me a focus for my planning.  I set out experiences all around our room for them to explore and investigate. I couldn't wait to see what they noticed!

I set out bells of different sizes and canisters with objects of different sizes inside of them.

They noticed right away that you made sound with these by shaking but noticed that they all sounded different! Now we are wondering why!

The experience below was not my idea! One of the students came to me before winter break showing me how he could make sound with a ribbon! He wants to use them to make a guitar. We decided to see if the others could figure out ways to make sounds with the ribbons also.  So far they have noticed that you can make sound by pulling them and rubbing them! They also noticed that each ribbon makes different sounds when you pull them. 

I set out music glasses for them to explore and see what they notice. They are also composing music and sharing their compositions with the class. Some have decided to create a music book with songs for the whole class to play! 

Since sound seems to be a reoccurring interest of students, I am always keeping my eyes open for instruments to keep in the classroom! I have now have quite a collection!  It is amazing how cheap you can find some of these! I put them in groups that make sound in the same way for them to explore. 

In the Engineering Area they were encouraged to create instruments out of any of the engineering materials we had. This included our usual Legos, Magnetix and K'Nex, but we also added pipes, rubber bands, paper tubes, and many other random materials for them to use!

I LOVE this video of them exploring sound in the engineering area!

We also encouraged them to see what they noticed about sound in the block area!

I had told them that I hadn't figured out a way to explore sound in our home living area!  This friend below was very excited to show me that he figured out a way!  You have to watch the video below!  He was brilliant!

Below they were asked what listening looks like and to make their thinking visible. 

I also put a stereo by the easels and told the kids to paint to the music. This week we have had The Nutcracker playing. I was very amazed at how intense their focus was as they painted to the music!

I love how my friend below covered every inch of white space with white paint!  Beautiful!

So far, the kids have noticed that you can make sound by shaking, striking, rubbing, and strumming. Our next step will be for the kids to pick one way to make sound and form expert groups. Each group will learn all they can about making sound in that particular way and create a project. They will present what they learn to our class, other classes, and to our parents! Stay tuned to see how these projects turn out!

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