Teaching amplitude of sound can be fun and easy – but it’s noisy! Try these three activities to illustrate that greater force yields greater amplitude.
Ms. Sneed Explores Amplitude of Sound
Once again, Mr. Frank pulled out a related lab sheet. Then he chuckled. “Oh yeah. The kids sure do love this one. Hit something softly. Then hit it with greater force. Who doesn’t like to make a bunch of noise in the classroom?
Tap a Spoon
“In the first activity,” Ms. Sneed said, “they tap on a table with a spoon. Obviously, tapping with greater force yields greater amplitude.”
Pluck a Rubber Band
“For Experiment #2,” she continued, “they use rubber bands. First, they stretch a rubber band between two fingers. Then they bring it near to their ears. Next, they pluck softly. And then they do it with greater force.”
“Of course, once again, greater force yields greater amplitude,” Mr. Frank added.
“Additionally,” said Ms. Sneed, “kids can look at the size of the sound wave. When they pluck lightly, the motion on the rubber band is small. However, when they pluck harder, the wave is bigger. This is super important for kids to know.”
Clap Your Hands to Illustrate Amplitude of Sound
“Finally,” the teacher continued, “kids clap their hands – lightly at first and then with greater force.”
“Wow!” Mr. Frank exclaimed. “These sound activities are so easy. With just a spoon and a rubber band, kids can learn about amplitude. More force means greater sound – and bigger waves.”
Enjoy Teaching Amplitude of Sound
Ms. Sneed and Mr. Frank enjoy teaching physical science with hands-on science stations. In addition to amplitude, kids explore vibrations, how sound travels, pitch, conductors and insulators, and density. Why not try them in your classroom?