Human Body Unit - Week 14 - The Ear

Week 14: We made a model of the eardrum.

Once Upon a Time Life is a series of videos from the 1970's created for kids to learn about the human body. By watching The Ear episode, the kids learned about the three bones in the ear which amplify vibration, the ear drum, and how the ear helps with balance.

Sound travels in waves, and the vibration of sound can be transformed into motion and be felt. To begin this lesson we discussed different types of waves.
The kids took turns holding the ends of a rope. One child created a wave and the other child tried to feel it.

While holding a slinky, one had moved to create a wave. The wave could be seen traveling down to the other end and back before dying out. We discussed how sound and waves decrease over distance.

Next, a pebble was dropped into a sink of water so radial waves could be seen.

When the alarm was set to vibrate on the iPod, the vibration waves could be felt.

The ear drum model was created by stretching a balloon over a tin can and securing it in place with a rubber band. By using a larger balloon and cylinder we could have had a bigger model, but the small one worked fairly well. The rice grains on top of the balloon were placed there so we could see the vibration of the ear drum.

Next the kids tried creating several loud noises to see the ear drum vibrate.

Which one do you think worked best? I'll give you a hint. My son is loud and doesn't need an instrument to make noise.

Our other Human Body projects can be found on our Science Page.

This post is linked to:
Teaching Blog Addict
Relentlessly Fun
Classroom Freebies
Montessori Monday 
We Made That
True Aim Education


  1. Thanks for posting about the videos again. I knew I had seen them on someone's blog but couldn't remember whose. We attempting anatomy again this year, so I'm making a note of these to use.
    Great lesson!

  2. Our book arrived last week so am keen to get started on this module. Thanks so very much for sharing.

  3. I love your anatomy posts - you are so very thorough. Thanks for sharing with Afterschool!

  4. Your kids are learning so much - you have such a creative approach to teaching science! Thanks so much for sharing with us at After School.

  5. This is SUCH a great hands-on way to teach kids about sound waves and the way the ear works. Thanks for sharing this at the After School Linky. I'm featuring it tomorrow on my blog.

  6. Looks like a great experiment! Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!


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