Teacher notes (incl extension activities) by RIM6jr


									Teachers’ notes – How do musical instruments make a

At KS2 learners are expected to use and develop their skills, knowledge and understanding by
investigating the science behind everyday things, e.g. musical instruments. They should be
encouraged to study how sounds are produced and the way that sound travels. The activities
provide opportunities for learners to explore through practical activity; discussion, drawing,
measurement and writing how musical instruments make sounds and how sound travels. The
activities aim to support children’s developing understanding of the aspects of ‘How things
work’ which relate to the concept of sound and also of those aspects of, ‘The sustainable
Earth’ that relate to properties and uses of materials, as well as scientific enquiry skills. It is
intended that learners be provided with opportunities to experience directly objects and
materials similar to those shown in some of the video clips once they have the idea of what is
expected of them and that they engage in making their own home-made instruments in order
that they can be helped to understand how some musical instruments make sounds. Their
developing understandings might be linked to other contexts in which sounds are produced to
foster more generalised understandings of sound production and the ways sounds travel.
Throughout the activities, there are opportunities for the development of literacy and
numeracy skills.

Curriculum links
        English: Oracy: 1 & 4
        Science: Communication: 1 & 2
                 Enquiry: 2, 3 & 4
                 Developing: 5 & 7
                 Reflecting: 3, 4, 5 & 6
                 How things work: 4
                 The Sustainable Earth: 4

Skills framework links
        Developing thinking:
        Plan         Activating prior skills, knowledge and understanding; Determing the
                     process/method and strategy
        Develop      Forming opinions and making decisions
        Reflect      Evaluate own learning and thinking

        Developing communication:
        Oracy        Developing information and ideas; Presenting information and ideas
        Writing      Orgainising ideas and information; Writing accurately
        Wider communication skills        Communicating information

Unit 6.5 teachers’ notes – How do musical instruments make a sound?                                   1
Tab 1

                                Learning opportunity:
                                Learners listen to sounds and describe how they might be made.

                                Using the tab:
                                This tab provides learners with a selection of sound clips of
                                different musical instruments. They are invited to listen to each
                                sound and decide how the sound is made. A selection of real
                                musical instruments may be provided for learners to handle and
                                to explore the possibilities for producing sound. This direct
                                experience will orientate learners to the activity and avoid
                                ‘ambushing’ them. The discussion should encourage learners to
                                describe their ideas about how the sound is made and to explain
                                their reasoning.

Tab 2

                                Learning opportunity:
                                Learners think how they could make a musical instrument using
                                waste materials.

                                Using the tab:
                                The aims of this tab are for learners to think about the
                                possibilities for making musical instruments using waste
                                materials and to identify their success criteria for their musical
                                instrument. These criteria could, in turn, be used to monitor the
                                design and making of each of the instruments and to reflect on
                                their effectiveness.
                                There is a range of possibilities for engaging learners in study of
                                how homemade instruments make sounds. One variation on
                                using waste objects and materials to make musical instruments
                                might be to encourage learners to explore creatively how they
                                might use vegetables to make musical instruments. Learners
                                may need some help in cutting or making holes in some of the

                                Useful links:

Tab 3

                                Learning opportunity:
                                Learners design and make their musical instrument and reflect
                                on the outcomes for their learning.

                                Using the tab:
                                This tab aims to encourage learners to create a design for their
                                instrument, to make the instruments and to evaluate their
                                success. Initially, learners are invited to design their instrument

Unit 6.5 teachers’ notes – How do musical instruments make a sound?                                   2
                                and to decide how they might use drawing, writing and computer
                                software to present their designs. Encouraging learners to swap
                                design ideas provides them with the possibility to gather
                                feedback and improve their designs.
                                The ‘Develop’ tab asks learners to explain how their instrument
                                makes sounds and how the sounds can be changed.
                                The ‘Reflect’ tab uses a reflection triangle to encourage learners
                                to identify the strategies they have used, to reflect on their
                                approaches and to identify which of the approaches they might
                                use again to help progress their learning in the future.

Tab 4

                                Learning opportunity:
                                Learners explain how their instrument works to produce sound.

                                Using the tab:
                                In this tab, learners are invited to explain how their instrument
                                produces sound. The context of making an instructional guide is
                                used to encourage learners to communicate clearly how their
                                instrument produces sound. The instructional guide could
                                include audio, video and images as well as writing. Encourage
                                learners to choose relevant formats. They can be supported in
                                making these choices by being required to consider the PROs
                                and CONs of suggested options. Many learners will have
                                developed a strategy of searching the internet and video
                                sharing sites for help. Experiences of this kind will lead some
                                learners to create a video as a means of sharing expertise. The
                                creation of a video clip can provide an engaging and meaningful
                                context for the development of literacy skills such as writing,
                                oracy and reading and also provide measurement possibilities
                                relevant to number.

Tab 5

                                Learning opportunity:
                                Learners explain in drawing how sounds are made.

                                Using the tab:
                                In this tab, learners are asked to draw how they think their
                                instrument makes a sound. The focus for the activity is learners’
                                understanding of how sounds are made and how sounds travel.
                                They may represent these ideas in drawings with written
                                annotations to clarify and explain their ideas. Encourage
                                learners to think about what causes the sound and how sound
                                travels and to choose and evaluate different vocabulary that
                                might be used to explain their ideas.

Tab 6

                                Learning opportunity:
                                Learners exchange ideas about how sounds are made and justify
                                their reasoning.

                                Using the tab:
                                In this tab, learners are asked to review each other’s ideas about
                                how sounds are made. Ideas about sound production may also
                                show evidence of thinking about how sounds travel, enabling

Unit 6.5 teachers’ notes – How do musical instruments make a sound?                                  3
                                them to be heard. Learners may comment on the similarities and
                                differences between ideas or identify the ideas with which they
                                agree with and explain their reasoning. Learners may use ‘hot
                                seating’ (in which one learner presents an idea and other
                                learners ask questions) to probe further the expressed ideas.
                                Encourage learners to reflect on their ideas during the discussion
                                and consider how listening to other learners’ ideas has influenced
                                their own ideas about sound. Some of the ideas emerging during
                                the discussion might become the focus of learners’ further
                                enquiries. Encourage learners to think of ways to test their ideas
                                and to share outcomes of those investigations. For instance,
                                learners may explore whether or not sounds travel through
                                different materials by trying to block the sounds using a variety of
                                materials each in turn. Sound proofing, as in finding the best
                                material for ear defenders, may provide a suitable context for
                                learners’ enquiries. Learners may explore the direction in which
                                sounds travel by placing children at different positions in relation
                                to the sound source. Some learners may be interested to explore
                                how far sounds travel and decide to investigate whether sounds
                                can be heard at different distances from the sound source.

Tab 7

                                Learning opportunity:
                                Learners think carefully about the vocabulary to describe sound

                                Using the tab:
                                Learners are provided with a number of words that they can use
                                creatively to help them explain sound production. The challenge
                                is to place related words in adjacent cells and to explain the links
                                between the words. They do not need to use all the words but
                                they may try to use as many as possible or to complete all the
                                cells in the matrix. Learners may add their own words to blank
                                cards. Encourage learners to present their completed tables to
                                each other – perhaps to talking partners- so that they can clarify
                                the intended meanings and offer feedback on each other’s work.

Tab 8

                                Learning opportunity:
                                Learners think creatively to develop a song or rap using the
                                homemade instrument.

                                Using the tab:
                                This tab encourages learners to use their creativity to develop a
                                story, song or rap using their homemade instruments. They could
                                approach the task by first considering the different sounds that
                                can be produced, the contexts which might be imagined as a
                                result of these sounds and some of the emotions and ideas that
                                might be communicated using these sounds. They may choose
                                vocabulary carefully and use actions to help tell their story.

Unit 6.5 teachers’ notes – How do musical instruments make a sound?                                    4

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