Sound Wave
Light, Sound and Waves

Things you'll need to decide on as you plan: Describing Sound

Teaching Guidance for 5-11 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

Bringing together two sets of constraints

Focusing on the learners:

Distinguishing–eliciting–connecting. How to:

  • focus on the physical aspect of the transmission of sound
  • build a source–medium–detector model
  • put the source–medium–detector model to use
  • make connections with travelling electromagnetic vibrations
  • connect vibrating objects to travelling vibrations
  • connect hearing to the source–medium–detector model

Teacher Tip: These are all related to findings about children's ideas from research. The teaching activities will provide some suggestions. So will colleagues, near and far.

Focusing on the physics:

Representing–noticing–recording. How to:

  • draw the spread of the vibrations
  • describe and make real the to and fro vibrations
  • prepare the ground for frequency and amplitude being the fundamental characteristics
  • draw vibrating objects
  • unify a wide range of experiences with a single model

Teacher Tip: Connecting what is experienced with what is written and drawn is essential to making sense of the connections between the theoretical world of physics and the lived-in world of the children. Don't forget to exemplify this action.

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