What is Sound?

David Gillam
National Science Teachers Association Recommends
May 26, 2009

Using a variety of images and video clips, this 15-minute DVD and 25-page binder provide great support for an elementary level study of sound. The DVD's graphics are clear and well sequenced, making them suitable for students at this level. Major topics include sound energy, longitudinal waves, differences in how sound moves through different types of matter, frequency and pitch, and how sound can affect our hearing. Discussion questions are provided throughout the DVD with a final review at the end. Other features on the DVD are a glossary of words used in the video and a series of still images with captions. Teachers can use the glossary to build vocabulary and the still images to reinforce concepts, allow students to make closer observations of important material, or as a review. The support materials found in the teachers' guide allow teachers to maximize the DVD's effectiveness. The guide contains a script of the video, which is important not only for preparation but for hearing-impaired students. Assessment of student learning can be done with a pre- and post-test covering the material in the video. A Video Review sheet provides a way to help focus students while they are watching the video and includes questions that can be used after the video to immediately assess learning or as a review. There are also vocabulary practice sheets, readings, and extension activities to be used with the video. An answer key for the various activities is provided at the beginning of the guide. The teachers' guide references the National Science Education Standards and the Benchmarks for Science Literacy. The video and guide would be an excellent addition to an elementary or middle school video collection. It would be an excellent tool for differentiating instruction. In a district’s media center, this could also be a resource for secondary special education.