Breaking the Sound Barrierby: Kim Boehringer and Tom Brown

Journal ArticleDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

Student interest in science has been amplified at one elementary school. During a recent unit on sound, students in a fourth-grade class participated in a series of dynamic sound learning centers followed by a dramatic capstone event— an exploration of the amazing Trashcan Whoosh Waves. It’s a notoriously difficult subject to teach, but this hands-on, exploratory approach ignited student interest in sound, promoted language acquisition, and built comprehension of key science concepts. These successful experiences with fourth-grade students are shared here.

  • Elementary
Publication Date

Community ActivitySaved in 722 Libraries

Reviews (3)
  • on Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:54 PM

This article was very informative, with many different hands-on examples on how to teach young students about sound waves. The teacher had the students in groups, at each table they had a different activity with questions about what they observed. All of the questions made the students think beyond just their observations. The article also discussed what many of the students wrote for each question, letting the reader understand what they should be looking for. Overall, this article was very helpful and showed that the students enjoyed the activities since many went on to test out more information than they had to.

Emily Jarka
Emily Jarka

  • on Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:24 PM

This is a great article with many key points for teaching younger students about sound. It goes over four science labs for students while also providing solid information about the concepts being covered in each activity. All four of the labs are fun and could be covered in a day.

John Wyss
John Wyss

  • on Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:58 AM

This article is excellent. It has several simple to do sound experiments that are very clearly written with background information. A great beginning place for a teacher who has never taught a sound unit.

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

Free - NSTA Members

$1.29 - Nonmembers

Login or Create a Free Account to add this resource to your library.