Human Body - Week 6 - Vocal Chords

Week 6: We made a model of our Vocal Chords.

Sound is produced inside us in a similar way musical instruments create sound. Our vocal chords are like the strings of a guitar that are plucked by the wind produced in our lungs. We are following the book The Way We Work by David Macaulay to learn about human body biology.

The structural component of our voice box is made up primarily of cartilage. The Cricoid cartilage is a cylindrical shaped piece. The Thyroid cartilage is also cylindrical, but open on one side. The two Artenoid cartilage are triangular in shape and attach to the Cricoid cartilage. The vocal chords are ligaments that run from the Arytenoid to the Thyroid cartilage.

We used household items to represent cartilage and rubber bands to represent the vocal chords.

Cartilage is flexible and muscles are used to move the cartilage in such a way that the vocal chords are put under various levels of tension. The amount of tension determines the pitch of the sounds. Since the garbage can, headphones and soap dispensers were all flexible the kids were able to change the pitch produced by the rubber bands while plucking them with their fingers.

To see the rest of our science activities please visit our science page.

This post is linked to:
Show and Share
Sun Scholars
Kitchen Fun

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  1. Soap dispensers - now isn't that slick! I like your ideas here.

    BTW - how is it that you can homeschool in Germany? I understood that it was illegal there?

    1. My husband's job is connected with the American military so we are covered by SOFA - Status of Forces Agreement. It's an agreement between the American and German governments.

    2. Thanks for clearing that up. I'm so glad you are able to educate the way you want to.


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