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Mystery of the Senses -- Hearing

Ideas from Teachers


(Gr. 6-12)
Objective
To experiment with what people hear when conversations are taking place simultaneously and to experiment with reflective and diffuse surfaces.

Materials

Procedure
As seen in this episode, animals are attuned to sounds that signal safety or danger. Similarly, humans will focus on familiar voices and language over other sounds. For example, a person will almost always hear her own name above other noise.

Organize students into groups of four, and assign three to read and one to listen. Copy and distribute the "Voices in the Crowd" student handout to each group. When the readings are finished and students have documented their answers, compare the results from each group. Ask the listeners as well as the students who weren't listeners why they think listeners heard specific texts.

Assessment
Students should respond to the questions in the student handout.

Classroom Tips
Some possible adaptations:

  • Have students consider the loudness in the classroom. Introduce the concept of reflective and diffuse surfaces. Compare the reflective surfaces in a classroom with the diffuse surfaces in an auditorium.

  • Have students suggest a list of areas to visit in the building and predict which areas will be the "noisiest." Then repeat the reading activity in each of those areas. Return to the classroom and compare the results with the hypotheses. Review the definition of reflective and diffuse surfaces.

Sent in by
Sunny Smith
Riverton High School
Riverton, UT


Teacher's Guide
Mystery of the Senses -- Hearing
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