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Fourth Grade Science. What does it look like? Modeling learning opportunities and assessment ideas. What do you want to know from Marlee?. Begin with questions and find some answers. Ask questions Work toward solutions Parking Lot Phone calls Rest rooms Breaks.

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Fourth Grade Science

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fourth grade science

Fourth Grade Science

What does it look like?

Modeling learning opportunities and

assessment ideas

what do you want to know from marlee
What do you want to know from Marlee?
  • Begin with questions and find some answers.
  • Ask questions
  • Work toward solutions
  • Parking Lot
  • Phone calls
  • Rest rooms
  • Breaks
georgia performance standards
Georgia Performance Standards
  • Benchmarks for Science Literacy
  • Theme for Fourth Grade is “Models.”
what would it look like
What would it look like?
  • This is a sample of what a teacher could do to teach some of the physical science elements concerning sound.
  • This includes assessment ideas and demonstrations of activities and timelines.
  • The Content Standards explain what students should know and be able to do.
  • The Characteristics of Science Standards explain how to assess and learning opportunities to provide.
how did it change
How did it change?
  • Performance not objectives
  • Student directed not teacher directed
  • Grade level appropriateness
  • Deeper not wider
  • Vertical scaffolding versus spiraling
qcc versus gps comparisons 4 th grade

12Topic: Energy and Its Transformation: Sound

Standard:Describes sources of sounds and how sounds move through different kinds of matter. Compares how different sounds move through air, water, rock and similar materials.                

13 Defines sound and identifies its properties. Observes that sound is produced by vibrations.                

14  Discovers that sound varies in pitch, intensity and quality. Produces sounds that vary as to: high, low or loud, soft, and produces sounds that differ in tone.                

15  Investigates the relationship between attributes of waves and qualities of sound. Connects attributes of waves (wavelength and frequency) to attributes of sound (pitch, intensity).                

16  Describes how we hear sounds. Describes how the outer, middle and inner ear transmit vibrations to the brain.                

17  Recognizes technological devices that produce sound (loudspeakers, bullhorns) or help humans hear better (hearing aid, stethoscope).             


S4P2. Students will demonstrate how sound is produced by vibrating objects and how sound can be varied by changing the rate of vibration.

a. Investigate how sound is produced.

b. Recognize the conditions that cause pitch to vary.

QCC versus GPS Comparisons—4th Grade
have times changed
Have Times Changed?

"The test of a successful education is not the amount of knowledge that a pupil takes away from a school, but his appetite to know and his capacity to learn. If the school sends out children with the desire for knowledge and some idea of how to acquire and use it, it will have done its work.

Too many leave school with the appetite killed and the mind loaded with undigested lumps of information. The good schoolmaster is known by the number of valuable subjects that he declines to teach."

-- Sir Richard LivingstoneThe Future in Education, C.U.P., 1941

what do you mean
What do you mean?
  • What do I change?
  • What stays the same?
  • Let’s look at science as an example from QCC to GPS.
  • How do I bridge from QCC to GPS instruction?
weeding the garden
Weeding the Garden
  • Before you can implement a new unit, you must first weed out the old one.
  • Look at the two– QCC and GPS.
  • What do you weed out of the unit that you have been teaching?
  • What do you plant in its place?
the water is wide
“The water is wide….”
  • If it is not there, don’t add it! Go deeper, not more.
  • The bold standard sets the parameters for K-12.
  • The element explains the specific grade level performance. Watch the verb!
  • List the understanding, questions, knowledge and skills.
how do we know what to do
How do we know what to do?
  • What learning opportunities do we use?
  • How do we know if students understand?
  • How good is good enough?
  • Are there misconceptions?
  • Planning a unit of instruction
    • Assessment
    • Learning opportunities
    • Performance (Culminating) Tasks
what do we expect students to understand know and be able to do
What do we expect students to understand, know and be able to do?

S4P2. Students will demonstrate how sound is produced by vibrating objects and how sound can be varied by changing the rate of vibration.

a. Investigate how sound is produced.

b. Recognize the conditions that cause pitch to vary.

what do the learning opportunities look like characteristics of science
What do the learning opportunities look like?Characteristics of Science
  • Observing (S4CS1)
  • Measuring (S4CS2)
  • Discussion (S4CS4)
    • How parts influence other parts
    • Patterns
  • Communication (S4CS5)
  • Reading and research (S4CS6)
  • Investigating (S4CS7 and S4CS8)
  • Things that make sound vibrate.
  • The pitch of the sound can be varied by changing the rate of vibration.
  • Sound travels through things like gases (air), liquids, and solids.
probe for understandings
Probe for Understandings

These objects make sounds. Which ones involve vibrations in producing sound?

Guitar strings drum dripping faucet

Barking dog piano screeching brakes

Radio speaker wind crumpled paper

Hammer flute chirping cricket

Car engine singer wood saw

Popped balloon bell thunderstorm

Snapped fingers car horn clapped hands

Explain the rule you use to decide which objects vibrate to produce sound.

essential questions
Essential Questions
  • What do vibrations look like?
  • How do vibrations feel?
  • How does sound change as the rate of vibration changes? (Pitch)
  • What “stuff” do we use to teach this?
    • rulers,
    • silverware,
    • rubber bands,
    • containers
what s on the test
What’s on THE TEST?
  • The curriculum is closely matched to the new CRCT.
  • How do we match our instruction and expectations to the CRCT?
  • Become an assessment junkie!
    • CRCT Content Descriptions
    • Practice CRCT on-line
complete assessment plan
Complete Assessment Plan
  • Selected Response
    • Multiple Choice, True/False, Matching
  • Constructed Response
    • Essay, fill in the blank, label pictures/diagrams, draw
  • Self and Informal Response
    • Ask questions, journal, “Ticket out the Door”
  • Performance Task
    • Project, performance is graded with Rubric.
what would the test look like
What would the test look like?

1. When you play a guitar, the sound you hear is caused by:

A. Stretching the strings tightly.

B. A wooden box that causes echoes.

C. The round hole in the wooden box.

D. The strings vibrating when plucked.

2. What we hear as pitch is caused by

A. Reflection

B. How far away the source of the sound is.

C. The speed of sound.

D. How fast the source of the sound is moving back and forth.

We use the words soft and loud to describe loudness. What 2 words do we use to describe pitch?

A. Big and little

B. High and light

C. High and low

D. Big and low

Vibrate means

A. to move back and forth quickly

B. to bounce up and down

C. to jerk quickly

D. to roll forward

1. How is sound produced?

A. vibrations

B. noise made by only non-living things

C. magnetism

D. movement of the earth

2. Sound can travel through

A. empty space.

B. solids.

C. liquids.

D. gases.

E. B – D above


How would you lower the pitch of glasses of water?

A. increase the amount of water

B. decrease the amount of water

C. hit the class harder

D. get a bigger glass

When you hit a table with a bowl covered by clear wrap that has salt on the clear wrap this demonstrates that

A. clear wrap is a conductor of sound.

B. sound is caused by vibrations.

C. pitch changes.

D. volume increases.

Which way would you position a ruler on a table to increase pitch

A. 6” off the table

B. 2” off the table

C. 8” off the table

D. 4” off the table

If you use a rubber band to make a guitar, which width of rubber band would produce the lowest pitch?

A. 1” rubber band

B. ½ “ rubber band

C. ¼” rubber band

D. ¾ “ rubber band

Sound travels through air like

A. rocket through space

B. basketball through hoop

C. ripples on water

D. sand through an hourglass


Blowing through a straw will produce a sound. Which straw will make the highest pitch?

Which invention is an example of the history of sound?

A. cotton gin

B. computer

C. telephone

D. airplane

student questions
Student Questions
  • Students can ask more questions than you can answer.
  • Expect the unexpected question.
  • Teach how to question.
  • Know when to answer and when to let the question stay the focus of the lesson.
  • Your job as a teacher is to motivate students to ask good questions and figure out how to find answers– not give answers.
let s investigate
Let’s Investigate!
  • Rulers
  • Forks in water
  • Rubber bands
  • Cups with string
  • Glasses with water
  • Straw oboe
  • Cracker box guitar
  • Soda bottle flute
sound learning opportunities
Sound – Learning Opportunities
  • Strike a tuning fork, spoon, fork against a hard object.
  • Immediately put the end into a bowl of water.
  • Watch the top of the water to see ripples caused by the vibrations. (Sound waves are similar to water waves.)
rubber bands with caution
Rubber bands (with caution)
  • Stretch the elastic band from your teeth to your hand.
  • Pluck at the band and listen for a sound.
  • Tighten and loosen the band and hear how the sound changes.
  • Do you feel the vibrations in your teeth? Your fingers?
  • Can you see the elastic vibrate?
  • Hold one ruler on a table with about ¾ of its length not on the table.
  • Pull down on the free end of the ruler and release it.
  • Do you see it vibrating? Can you hear the sound?
  • Hold 3 rulers that are exactly the same size on the desk, but with different lengths hanging over the edge.
  • Compare the sounds.
can telephones
Can Telephones
  • Punch small holes in the bottom of two containers.
  • Put a 10 meter string through the holes and knot both ends so they won’t slide out.
  • Stretch the string.
  • One partner speaks into one can while the other partner puts the other can to his/her ear.
voice box vibrations
Voice Box Vibrations
  • Carefully put your fingers on your throat. Do not apply pressure!
  • Feel your throat when you talk.
  • Vocal cords act like little vibrators.
hanger chimes
Hanger Chimes
  • Sound travels through solid things.
  • Tie a metal coat hanger or four metal forks to a long string.
  • Use your thumbs to hold the two ends of the string to the area on your face just in front of your ears.
  • Have someone hit the metal and listen to the sounds produced with the string touching your ears and not touching your ears.
balloon sounds
Balloon Sounds
  • Blow up a balloon.
  • Squeeze the neck and slowly let the air leak out.
  • Observe how the neck vibrates as the air escapes.
  • How can you vary the pitch?
  • Cut the ends of a long corrugated tubing. (Vacuum cleaner hose)
  • Swing the hose around to hear a sound as the air vibrates through the tubing.
  • Vary the speed of your swing.
  • What happens to the pitch?
chicken sounds
Chicken Sounds
  • Tie one end of a piece of string to the middle of a paper clip.
  • Use a pencil to poke the other end of the string through the bottom of a paper cup.
  • Hold the cup with one hand and wet the string and your finger and thumb of the other hand.
  • Squeeze the string and slide your fingers along the string quickly.
straw oboe
Straw Oboe
  • Flatten the end of a plastic straw.
  • Cut the corners off of the flattened end to make an inverted V.
  • With practice, you can produce a sound by blowing into the straw.
  • Putting this straw into a straw with a larger diameter can make a straw trombone to change pitch.
  • Clipping off the straw will make the pitch change.
cracker box guitar
Cracker Box Guitar
  • Cut a hole in the center of one side of a cracker box.
  • Use different sizes of rubber bands stretched around the box and across the opening of the box.
  • Use a pencil as a bridge for the rubber band to vary the tension and change pitch.
  • Putting a plastic cup in the center of the hole will give a “sounding board” effect to increase the quality of the sound.
glass xylophones and bottle flutes
Glass Xylophones and Bottle Flutes
  • Use same sized bottles or glasses filled with different amounts of water.
  • Hitting the sides of the glass will cause a sound as the water and glass vibrate.
  • Blowing across the top of the bottle or glass will produce a sound also.
  • Sequence the bottles according to highest to lowest pitch and play a tune.
finding the time
Finding the Time
  • Look for connections.
  • If it is in a different subject, just recognize the integration.
  • Playground is a great location to teach science.
  • Remember the goal and use resources available. This is not a college course!
sample units
Sample Units
  • Units for each grade level
  • Earth, Life, Physical Science units all contain assessment plans.
  • Lists contain vocabulary, tools, knowledge, skills, understandings
  • Activity Checklist
3 clicks to units online
3 Clicks to Units Online
  • Georgia Science Teachers Association
  • Click GPS
  • Click GPS 3-5
  • Click Units (per grade level)

Do not try to satisfy your vanity by teaching a great many things. Awaken people’s curiosity. It is enough to open minds; do not overload them. Put there just a spark. If there is some good flammable stuff, it will catch fire.Anatole France

contact information
Contact Information

Marlee Tierce

Education Program Specialist

Curriculum and Instruction

K-5 Science

(404) 463-1977