Teaching with the Web:
A Collection of Online Treasure Hunts and Webquests
Teacher’s Guide to Sound Waves
This lesson falls under the unit on “Waves: Carriers of Energy” (Unit 4) of the Fourth Year Science curriculum. The focus of the lesson is sound waves, which comprises the second main topic in the unit.
The lesson aims to help students “understand how sound waves are produced, transmitted and propagated.” After going through the lesson, students are expected to be able to:
1. Compare the transmission of sound through air with its transmission through solids, liquids, and a vacuum;
2. Describe factors that affect the speed of sound;
3. Explain how room acoustics is affected by reflection and diffraction of sound waves;
4. Explain the Doppler Effect;
5. Explain resonance and its importance in musical instruments; and
6. Cite applications of sound in measuring sea depth and ultrasound in medical diagnosis.
Before you conduct the online treasure hunt, do the following:
1. In the computer lab, with the help of the Center Manager download all of the online resources/websites and save these for offline viewing. Make sure that the saved files can be accessed from all of the computers in the lab.
2. Make sure that all computers are working.
3. Load the treasure hunt onto each computer or to the teacher’s PC and make sure it can be accessed from all of the computers in the lab.
4. Print copies of the treasure hunt for your students (one copy per group). (optional)
5. In the classroom, group your students into groups of three members each.
6. Each group computer will be assigned a computer. If you have more groups than computers, you may have to divide your class into two sets, with one set of groups working in the lab on this treasure hunt on Day 1 of this lesson and the other set of groups working on the treasure hunt on Day 2. Prepare a worthwhile classroom activity (seatwork) that is related to the topic for groups that will remain in the classroom on Day 1. On Day 2, the set of students who will remain in the classroom may work on their answer to the Big Question or be given a seatwork as well.
7. Explain the procedure of the online treasure hunt. You may distribute the print copies of the online treasure hunt (one copy per group).
8. Find out whether your students know how to use a computer (keyboard and mouse). If needed, bring your students to the computer laboratory and orient them to its use. Also give them instructions on proper behavior in the computer lab.
During the online treasure hunt, do the following:
1. Lead the groups into the computer lab and get them settled in. When everyone is ready, instruct all groups to start reading the online treasure hunt. (You and the Center Manager may open the treasure hunt file and have it ready for reading before the students enter the lab, or you can ask your students to open the file following oral instructions from you.) There is no need for a motivational activity since students will be motivated enough by the prospect of using the computer lab for this lesson. Also, the introduction to the online treasure serves as motivation.
2. Use the time allotted for your class. Do not borrow the time intended for other subjects. Start on time and end on time. The students should be able to finish answering the small questions in 40 or so minutes. The Big Question is to be planned for and then performed in a separate class meeting. However, groups can begin planning their sound play (the answer to the Big Question) in the time remaining before the end of the period.
3. Move around the room. Observe how each group is doing the activity and write down your observations in a teacher’s log/journal. Assist students as needed.
4. Collect the groups’ answers to the small questions. Remind the class of the need to work on their to the Big Question. Tell the class that the synthesis for the lesson will be done in the classroom after all groups have finished the online treasure hunt.
5. At the end of your workday, complete your personal notes on the conduct of the online treasure hunt in your teacher’s log/journal.
After the online treasure hunt, in your classroom (Day 2 if all of the groups were able to participate in the online treasure hunt on Day 1 because there were enough computers for all groups, or Day 3 if the groups had to work at the computer lab in two batches):
1. Discuss with the class the answers to the treasure hunt questions. Be sure to discuss the answers to all eight questions.
2. Summarize the main points of the lesson.
3. Remind the class to work on their sound play (the answer to the Big Question). At this point, the students may have questions about the requirement. Be ready to answer the questions. It would help if you had an example of a sound play for the students to listen to. Set a specific date for submission of the taped sound play.
4. Before dismissing the class, ask your students to comment on the online treasure hunt activity. On a piece of paper, ask them to write:
• what they enjoyed the most,
• what they found difficult, and
• what improvements, if any, they suggest for future activities of this type.
Give the students 5-10 minutes to do this, and then collect the answer sheets.
5. Study the students’ assessment of the online treasure hunt and take this and your own notes into account when planning your next online treasure hunt.
6. Monitor the students’ work from time to time in the week during which they are to produce the taped sound play to make sure that they will be ready to submit something on the due date.
When the answers to the Big Question are due:
1. Collect the audiotapes of the sound plays and have the students listen to each of the tapes in class. Be sure to be ready with an audio cassette player.
2. You can ask the students to evaluate each sound play using a scoring sheet that you have prepared beforehand. You should also evaluate each sound play using the same scoring sheet.
3. After listening to all sound plays, ask the class to comment on what they have heard. They may cite similarities and differences. You can also take a quick survey of which sound play they liked the best and why. End by recalling the main points in the lesson on sound waves.
4. In the last 15 minutes of the period, ask each student to answer the combined self- and peer-assessment form.
5. Collect all scoring sheets and consolidate the scores given to each performance by you and your students. The average is the group score for the Big Question, which you may include in their score under Quizzes or Recitation. Later, let your students know how they scored.
Copyright 2004 by the Foundation for IT Education & Development. All rights reserved.