Lesson Plan : How Do We Hear?

Teacher Name:
 Hearing Group
 Grade 3

 -To have the students be able to label the outer, middle, and inner ear. -For the students to recognize that sound is a result of vibration traveling through a medium (soundwaves).
 Doctor's plastic model of an ear, several different medical Hz tuning forks, a large container of water
 Ask the class to listen carefully as the teacher rings each of the tuning forks separately, then work together to line the forks up from lowest to highest pitch. Once successfully done, ask the class what body part and sense they had used to separate the forks.
 2. Explain that sound is created by an object's vibration, these sound waves travel through the air to their outer ears. (Begin using the ear model.) 3. The outer ear works as a tunnel to amplify the sound and direct it to the eardrum. 4. The eardrum is hit by the sound waves and vibrates, which transfers to the three tiny bones in the middle ear (hammer, anvil, stirrup), causing them to vibrate also. 5. The bones' vibrations transfer to the inner ear causing waves in the inner ear fluid. 6. Tiny hair-like nerves pick up these waves and changes them into electrical signals and sends them to the brain. 7. The brain somehow processes these signals and the sound is understood. 8. Then ring the highest and the lowest pitched tuning forks at the same time and ask the class to what they see that is different between the two. 9. Explain that higher pitches vibrate much faster than low pitches. 10. Ask the class what would happen if the fork was rung under water. 11. Demonstrate how the volume and pitch are changed when the sound waves travel through water instead of air. 12. Ask the class if they walk faster through air or water. 13. Explain that water is harder for sound waves to travel through than air is, just like walking.
 For children that are hearing impaired, allow them to feel the vibration of each tuning fork to understand that faster vibrations mean that it creates a faster and higher pitched sound wave.
Checking For Understanding:
 Ask: Would a tuning fork be louder or quieter if it was put into sand? Into cement? Ask: Would the pitch be higher or lower if a very large tuning fork was rung? Will it be vibrating faster or slower? Ask: What does the outer ear do? Middle ear? Inner ear?
 Discuss that the process of hearing is very complicated and every small part has to work with the other parts of the ear in order to allow sounds to be processed in the brain. Sound waves travel much better through air than water, which is why noises are much quieter while swimming underwater.

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