The kids adjusted quickly to being off of holiday break, so I was able to get back in the classroom on Tuesday. In science class the students were learning about sound energy, vibrations, volume, and pitch. I brought in my guitar, flute, and clarinet to play for the students. We looked at the guitar string vibrating and noticed how if I plucked it harder the sound got louder. We also learned about how a shorter string sounds higher in pitch that a longer string. We also talked about the flute and clarinet and how the length of the tube being used determines how high or low the pitch sounds. They did a great job figuring out what they thought would happen when I lifted or put down a finger! Rachel jumped in with some impromptu graphics to help illustrate the concept.
We started making straw flutes with the idea the kids would be able to get the length of tube = pitch concept. We got as far as getting (mostly) functional straw flutes. (It was a noisy day!)
I also happened to have a bass drum in my car (as occasionally happens) so I brought it in and had the kids feel the vibrations on one head of the drum as I hit the other. We talked about how the air inside the drum is moving and vibrating the other head. A very tactile lesson in sound waves!
We spent the rest of the week video taping for the upcoming arts night. We're planning on continuing to build our "junk band" with straw flutes and rubber band guitars next week. We're also planning our upcoming composition project with story retelling. Should be fun!