Did you hear that?

“Sounds Like Fun” is the theme for this month as students study sound – what it is, how it’s made and how we hear it.

Grades K-2

Students will focus on the anatomy of the ear, active listening skills and how vibrations and sound waves make sound. For one activity, students will wear earplugs to limit their hearing ability. They will use this as an opportunity to talk about how people who are deaf or hard of hearing use lip reading and sign language to communicate.

In a separate activity, students will wear blindfolds as they use only their ears to identify hidden objects and follow sounds.

“Parents can assist at home by focusing on active listening – which requires students to concentrate on what it is they’re hearing,” said LaKeitha Givens, Program Director of YouthQuest. “What are the outdoor sounds of spring? Are the birds singing? Does rain make sounds on the windows or wind rustle the trees? What can they hear?”

Family members can also conceal small items in containers and challenge their students to guess the contents based on the sound they make.

“Understanding sound is important to small children because it is one of the five senses that they rely on every day,” Givens said. “Being an active listener helps them in school and at home.”

Grades 3-6

While learning about the science of sound and vibration, students will make horns using drinking straws. By adjusting the length of the straws, they will see first-hand how sound changes. The shorter the straw, the higher the pitch.

They will also learn how their lungs help produce their voices. As an example, each student will be given a balloon to blow up. As they deflate the balloons, and air escapes, they will hear the differing pitches of sound.

At home, parents can ask their students to describe the noises they hear. Is it high? Is it low? Where it the sound coming from?

FOR OLDER STUDENTS

Rather than use themes, YouthQuest’s middle and high school programs offer short-term and long-term clubs to teach students new skills and encourage interest in new subjects. For example, some of the YouthQuest students at International Academy of Flint participate in the Drum Club and are currently practicing their performance for the upcoming ArtQuest exhibition. To build on their enthusiasm at home, challenge your student to make a beat using everyday household items, such as pots, pans and water buckets.

This article was featured in the April 2017 issue of Afterschool Download, a monthly e-newsletter for friends of YouthQuest, TeenQuest and the Summer Youth Initiative. Also in this issue:

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