Strand:Energy and Forces

Lesson: The Ear and Sound


That the pupils will know that:

1 the outer ear is like a funnel as it collects sound
2 sound is funnelled into the inner ear
3 the ear drum is a thin sheet of skin that stretches across the end of the outer ear
4 this skin vibrates when sound waves hit it, caused by vibrating air
5 these sound waves are passed on by three tiny bones - the hammer, the anvil and the stirrup, to the cochlea
6 the stirrup is fixed to the cochlea and passes the vibrations into it
7 the cochlea is filled with liquid and lined with nerve endings called the auditory nerve
8 messages travel to the brain along the auditory nerve
9 the liquid in the cochlea help us to keep our balance
10 an echo is caused by the sound of your voice bouncing off the walls of an empty room

Materials Needed

The Human Body (Kingfisher)
Laptop and Data Projector
CD Roms (1) Science Explorer II (2) The Ultimate Human Body
Plastic bag, big tin box, elastic band
2 plastic cups, string
Funnels, tubing, sticky tape



Diagram of the ear in junior science copies, lesson taught, recorded in pupils copies.

Development - Related activities and experiments

Experiment 1: Make an 'Ear Drum' Vibrate

- Stretch plastic over tin, hold in place with the rubber band
- Sprinkle some sugar on the plastic
- 'Ear drum' vibrates

Experiment 2: Sound Travels Through String.

- Plastic cup vibrates from sound of voice
- Causes air in cup to vibrate
- Causes string to vibrate
- Causes air to vibrate
- Forms sound

Experiment 3: Make a stethescope

- Listen to a friends heartbeat.

Discuss results of experiments.

Conclusion/Follow Up Activities

Follow up and reinforce with CD Rom Science Explorer II. Go to 'Catalogue' then find 'Sound'. Also CD Rom 'The Ultimate Human Body' go to 'Hearing'.


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