Exploring Science and the Pan Flute

After another crazy busy week/weekend of working on assignments, I am exhausted! Despite this, I had a wonderful day in the classroom with my grade four students once again.  My teaching partner’s and I’s day began as students filed into the classroom at the ring of the morning bell. It was wonderful to see all of their bright smiling faces flushed red from being outside in the new winter air.

My cooperating teacher and my teaching partner both taught their lessons in the morning. The morning went smoothly and by the time the lunch bell rang all of the students were gung-ho to go for lunch and then go back and explore outside, as they were doing earlier during the morning recess. After lunch, the students came in and once they were settled off we went to the library! Before I knew it was time for me to teach my lesson.

I began the lesson by asking if anyone knew what a pan flute was, and I am ever so glad I did! One of my students had an excellent explanation that she shared with the class. In addition, one of the students that don’t usually share, or when he does is not usually relevant to the material we are talking about, shared with the class that he had one at home. For the students that were unfamiliar with what a pan flute looked and sounded like I played a snippet of this video to give students an idea.

After watching this video and having a group discussion we proceeded to the exploration section of this lesson. As a class, each student created their own pan flute. I had written instruction on the board in order to support students construction of their pan flute, provided a verbal explanation, and assisted students throughout the creation process by answering questions and helping students along the way.

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The students really understood the purpose behind this lesson and I was so happy I was able to do it with them! Throughout my lesson I heard students saying things such as, “the smaller straws make a higher sound” or “the long straws make a lower sound” as well as “this is like when you blow on a coke bottle”. It was wonderful to heard the students connections between what we were learning through this activity as that made what the students and I were learning about that much more meaningful!

All in all it was another wonderful field experience once again and I look forward to spending next Wednesday in the classroom again!


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