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Deuteronomy 32:2

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Sunday, August 4

Second Grade, Science, Set Five

Now we are learning about sound.
  • Sounds All Around by Wendy Pfeffer -- we read the book one day and then took two days to do the activities.
    • Make a guitar with a box and rubber bands
    • Make musical glasses
    • Listen to sounds around you; we went to the local nature center to do this
    • Sounds matching game -- get 10 identical containers that are not see-through and have lids. Make 5 sets of identical contents (example: put 10 paper clips in 2 containers). Mark one of each with an 'X' and the other with an 'O'. Mix up the containers and see if you can match up the sets (one X and one O) by listening to the sound it makes when you shake the container.
  • The True Book of Science Experiments by Illa Podendorf, pages 40 - 43
    • Listen to the radio, then cup your hands around your ears and notice that the sound is louder. Your hands help catch the sound waves.
    • Put a watch or clock (with a loud tick) on the table. Stand 12 inches away and listen. Then put your ear on the table, 12 inches away from the clock. The sound is louder. Sound travels better through wood than air.
    • Make a telephone with two cans and string. I pulled different ideas from other books to make a telephone that works really well.
  • Hearing Sounds by Sally Hewitt -- we read this book in three days (pgs 6 - 23) and did the activities as we went along. Here are a couple :
    • Cover a bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Put rice or colored sugar crystals on the wrap. Hold a 9 x 13 metal pan above the bowl and hit it with a wooden spoon. The rice/sugar will jump. The vibrations caused by hitting the pan make the wrap vibrate. This is sort of how your eardrum works.
    • Gather a collection of tubes and bottles. Gently blow across the top of each. Compare the sounds.

  • Sound and Hearing by John Farndon
    • Making Waves, page 5 -- we used a large slinky to show how sound waves move
    • Inside the Ear, page 13 -- we read about how the ear works
  • 49 Easy Experiments with Acoustics by Robert W. Wood
    • Hold a hacksaw blade about halfway over the edge of a table (we used a bench because our table has curved edges). Hold it very firmly. Thump the extended end with your finger. Listen to the sound the vibrations make. Move the blade so more or less is over the edge. Do the vibrations make a different sound? Try it with a yardstick and other things that will vibrate.
    • Put water in a 9 x 12 baking pan until the water is about 1" deep. Use a medicine dropper to drop one drop at a time into the pan. You can observe the waves it makes. The drop is like someone talking and the waves are like the sound waves. Hold the dropper up high and drop a drop in. Watch how the waves react when the hit the sides of the pan. This is like an echo.
    • We made an air shock wave. You may see this experiment in many books, but this one was the simplest, and it worked! You need a candle and an empty salt box. Remove the metal spout from the salt box. Light the candle (you should be away from drafts), point the opening in the salt box at the flame and thump the other end of the box. The wave of air you send out of the box will put out the flame.
    • Stand about four feet from your child and tap the table with a pencil. Then have your child put their ear on the table (still four feet away) and tap the table. Notice the difference.
    • Run your thumb down the teeth of a comb. Then fill a metal pot with water. Have your child put their ear against the pot, put your hand and comb in the water and run your thumb down it. Notice the difference. Sound carries better through wood and water than through air. Put the end of the comb against a door. Have your child put their ear on the other side of the door. The hollow door amplifies the sound.
    • Tie a sting (about 18" long) around a fork. Tie the other end onto a baking pan. (If you have one with a hole, it is easy.) Place the pan upside down on a table with the end where the string is tied on sticking over the edge so the string hangs straight and the fork is suspended in mid-air. First, lift the fork by the string and tap it with another fork. Then, let the fork hang from the pan and tap it with another fork. The pan amplifies the sound.
    • Use a stiff piece of manila folder or card stock. Cut a strip two inches wide. Fasten it around the frame a bicycle next to the wheel. You can use a clothespin, but we punched a couple holes and used a brad. Cut the paper so it touches the spokes when the wheel turns. The faster you peddle, the faster the paper vibrates, and the higher the pitch of the sound.
    • Make a spoon chime. Tie a string (2 - 3 feet long) around the handle of a spoon. Tie a small loop at each end of the string. Insert an index finger in each loop and place your fingers in your ears. Lean over so the spoon hangs in the air. Have someone tap the spoon with another spoon. Listen to the difference when you don't have your fingers in your ears.
    • Use old utensils to make a wind chime.
    • Make a stethoscope. Insert the spout of a small funnel in one end of a hose (about 18" long). Listen to your heart. Listen to a watch, etc.
    • Make a speaking tube. If you use a garden hose for this, make sure all the water is out of it. Stretch a long hose out to its full length. Have one person at each end. Whisper to each other. The hose does not need to be stretched tight, just don't let there be any kinks in it. You and go in different rooms, or around corners. Many parks have speaking tubes that work this same way.
  • 365 More Simple Science Experiments
    • Get two paper cups, glue, cotton balls, and a whistle. Glue the cotton balls to the inside of one of the paper cups. Make sure it is all covered. Blow the whistle in the paper cup without the cotton balls. Then blow the whistle in the cup with the cotton balls. The cotton balls muffle the sound of the whistle because the sound gets trapped in the tiny spaces in all the cotton balls.
Other books we read:
  • It is the Wind by Ferida Wolff -- a picture book about sounds a boy hears at night
  • The Ear Book by Al Perkins -- a book about sounds
  • The Sounds Around Town by Maria Carluccio -- a book about sounds you hear all through the day
The last week of this set we did experiments with mixtures and ice from What Happens If...?
  • Mixtures
    • Fill three classes with water. Put a drop of food coloring in one. Watch is spread. Then put a drop in the other two. Stir the water in one. In which does the color spread faster?
    • Add a spoonful of sugar to a glass of water and stir. Use a straw to taste the water at the bottom, middle, and top of the glass. What do you taste? Put ten drops of the water on a clear pie pan. Let the water evaporate. What is left? Pour all the water into the pie pan. Let the water evaporate. (This may take a few days. Ours took a week and started growing mold before all the water evaporated, so we made sure K. kept her fingers out of it.)
    • Add a spoonful of oil to a glass of water. What happens? Stir the oil. What happens? Stop stirring. What happens?
  • Ice
    • Get two ice cubes the same size. Wrap one in a wash cloth and close it using a rubber band. Put them on a pie pan in a warm place. Which melts first?  The cloth keeps the warm air from getting to the ice and keeps it from melting as fast.
    • Take two ice cubes that are the same size. Wrap one up in aluminum foil. Put each in its own glass of warm water. Which melts first?
    • Fill an ice cube tray with water all the way to the top. Put it in the freezer. What happens when the water is frozen?
    • Fill two glasses with warm water. Get two ice cubes. Crush one by wrapping it in a piece of paper and standing on it. Put the ice cube in one glass and the crushed ice in the other. Which melts faster? Each little piece of ice has warm water around it, so it melts faster.
    • Get three containers that are different shapes (shallow bowl, glass, make a shape with aluminum foil). Put exactly 1 cup of water in each container. Allow them to freeze. Set them out and see which melts fastest.

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