Sound Wave
Light, Sound and Waves

Thinking about actions to take: Quantifying and Using Sound

Teaching Guidance for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

There's a good chance you could improve your teaching if you were to:

Try these

  • showing large-scale, slow vibrations producing a sound
  • emphasising that all sounds have a source
  • tracing the chain from source to detector, via medium, often
  • showing changing frequency without changing amplitude
  • showing changing amplitude without changing frequency
  • measuring frequency directly, linking this to counting the vibrations
  • relating delays in hearing sounds to trip times due to the speed of propagation

Teacher Tip: Work through the Physics Narrative to find these lines of thinking worked out and then look in the Teaching Approaches for some examples of activities.

Avoid these

  • showing waveforms on an oscilloscope
  • introducing wavelength prematurely
  • using a strobe without explaining how you see what you see

Teacher Tip: These difficulties are distilled from: the research findings; the practice of well-connected teachers with expertise; issues intrinsic to representing the physics well.

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