Begin the lesson by having pairs of students conduct a "Think/Pair/Share" to discuss the following questions.
- How do you communicate with someone that is in the same room as you?
- How do you communicate with someone that is in the room next to you?
- How do you communicate with someone that is in a different house than you?
Discuss different forms of appropriate communication in each situation.
- Divide students into small groups. Give each group the materials needed to build a string telephone. Do not tell them what they are building.
- Ask the students to look at the materials. Then ask the question:
- How can we use these materials to build a device that uses sound to communicate?
- Have the students draw a "blueprint" of the group's design in their science notebook. Then have the students construct the device.
- Give the students ample time to test out their designs. Note: You will need to help the students tie the string to the paper clips.
- The students should create a string telephone that will allow sound to travel the distance of the string. You might have to guide the students to pull the string tight.
Allow the groups to share their designs with the class. Discuss what worked and did not work with the designs and any changes that needed to be made to allow the sound to travel through the string. Discuss how the device had to be used properly in order for the sound to travel through the string. If the string was not pulled tight, then the students were not allowed to communicate.
Allow the students to test their devices by trying to send messages around a corner. Were you able to communicate using your device around a corner? Why or why not? Discuss findings with the class.