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Waves of Sound Unit
What would happen if you screamed in outer space?
Mystery 2 image
What would happen if you screamed in outer space?
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DISCUSS: How could you find out if there are vibrations in the air when we talk to each other?

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You've completed the Exploration & Activity!

If you have more time, view the assessment, reading, and extension activity in the extensions.

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Extensions

Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the activity & exploration you just completed.
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Readings:

Readworks and Newsela offer readings free with registration. All include comprehension questions.

  • Three Cheers for Ears — Two friends visit a science museum and learn about how their ears work. (Grade 3)
  • Deepsea Noises — Learn about all the sounds scientists have heard in the deepest part of the ocean. (Grade 3 — in English & Spanish)
  • Underwater Blasts — Scientists worry about how undersea blasts may affect whales. (Grade 4)
  • Dancing Underwater — Dancers become scuba divers to perform new underwater ballet. (Grade 4)
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Activity — Seeing Sound

For a very simple way to see sound vibrations, watch this video from HooplaKidzLab. This experimenter uses a bowl & plate, plastic cling film, and candy sprinkles.

If you want to try this experiment with a large group, we suggest using a plastic bowl or cup with a big rubber band to hold the plastic film in place. Substitute salt for the candy sprinkles and encourage students to hum, rather than speaking. (It’s too easy to blow away the salt with a shout.)

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Image & Video Credits

Mystery Science respects the intellectual property rights of the owners of visual assets. We make every effort to use images and videos under appropriate licenses from the owner or by reaching out to the owner to get explicit permission. If you are the owner of a visual and believe we are using it without permission, please contact us—we will reply promptly and make things right.

Exploration
thumbnail: astronaut by NikoNomad
talking underwater by Chrissy Edmiston
Underwater Jackhammer by Divers Institute of Technology
Swimming with humpback whales@Vava'u, Kingdom Of Tonga by 梁摳摳 , used under CC BY
pilot whale sounds by Cristiano Caldeira
humpback whale swimming in deeper waters by Christopher Michel , used under CC BY-SA
boy by DiversityStudio
girl by sezer66
group of business people in office by Rawpixel.com
blue balloon vibrating computer speaker by BluePigProductions
balloon vibrating by WheelerInnovations
speakers vibrating- before by SP AUDIO
speakers vibrating by SP AUDIO
speakers vibrating with passenger by SP AUDIO
Group of children with ball and skateboard chatting in city by Iakov Filimonov
astronaut by NikoNomad
vaccum pump by roobert33
vaccum by WaveBreakMedia
Activity
balloons on a table by nito
Overview
Grade 4th
Topic Sound, Waves, & Communication
Focus Sound & Vibrations
Print Prep
Activity Prep

In this Mystery, students explore the role that air plays in enabling a sound vibration to travel. In the activity, Act Out a Sound, students do two short activities that explore sound vibrations. Students experiment with sound to understand how it moves through the air and then consider what would happen in an environment like space where there is no air.

Preview activity

Number of students:
Sound Blobs worksheet Print 1 copy
Scotch Tape
Masking tape also works.
Details
1 roll
Balloons
15 balloons
Small Binder Clips (3/4")
15 clips
Prep Instructions

For the first activity, we suggest students work in pairs. Homeschool students will need a partner. For the second activity, you need a minimum of four people (and a maximum of six people) who will sit in a line, side by side. So make sure you have the people and the chairs you need.

Divide Your Supplies

The first activity requires balloons and binder clips. The second activity requires the printouts and some tape. You may want to separate these supplies into two piles for easy classroom distribution.

Overview
Grade 4th
Topic Sound, Waves, & Communication
Focus Sound & Vibrations
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