Students watch and listen to human speech and explore visual and audio cues that aid their understanding. During a short walk, students listen to the sounds around them and classify them as environmental, voiced, or musical.
The most effective communication is multisensory. Sound is a powerful and important means of communication. There are three categories of sounds: environmental, voiced, and musical.
After completing this lesson, students will
Consult the following sections in Information about Hearing, Communication, and Understanding:
|Activity 1||no photocopies needed|
|Activity 2||Master 2.1, Sound Safari Data Sheet (Make 1 copy per student and prepare an overhead transparency.)|
|Activity 1||no materials (except photocopies)|
|Activity 2||no materials (except photocopies)|
No preparations needed.
Make photocopies and overhead transparency of Master 2.1, Sound Safari Data Sheet.
The purpose of this activity is twofold. First, it helps students become aware of sounds they experience and normally take for granted. Second, it sets the stage for thinking about sound in terms of its loudness, pitch, and timing. As the module concludes, students will reflect on their own sound exposure and provide recommendations about how they can minimize their risk of noise-induced hearing loss.
PART 1—VISUAL CUES
Students may be able to pick out some of the words, but the meaning of the sentence will remain obscure. If you have a hearing-impaired student in the class who is adept at reading lips, ask him or her to let the rest of the class respond first.
You should stress that facial expressions help represent the emotion behind speech.
The mixed messages sent by the mouthed words and the facial expression make the meaning of the sentence more difficult to establish.
Students should realize that visual cues, such as facial expressions, affect how others interpret what is said.
Figure 2.2. Facial expressions can convey emotion.
PART 2—INTONATION CUES
Answers may vary. Be alert to answers that speak to characteristics about the speaker and not the meaning of what is being spoken (for example, accents and vocabulary).
Another sentence that can take on different meanings depending on which words are stressed is, “We are going to the mall tomorrow.”
Review the idea of how word stress changes the meaning of a sentence. Relate to students that actors often practice saying a line in different ways that change the meaning of the words being spoken.
Figure 2.3. The meaning of spoken words can change depending on how the words are spoken.
PART 3—EMOTIONAL CUES
Answers will vary, though many students will believe that they can identify the speaker’s emotional state just by hearing the tone and not the words.
To avoid giving the class any visual cues from your facial expression, you might face away from the class while speaking.
Again, have the speaker face away from the class to eliminate cues from facial expressions.
Answers should include the idea that visual cues, such as facial expressions and body language, help our brain interpret the speech that we hear.
Answers will vary but may include
|reading and writing||body language|
The sound safari consists of a simple, five-minute walk down the school hallway. Decide ahead of time where the class will walk. Ideally, students will walk by areas that have a wide variety of sounds, such as the cafeteria, music class, and shop class. If weather permits, you might consider taking part of the walk outdoors.
The goal is to concentrate on the number and types of sounds around them and list as many of them as possible. For the purposes of this activity, students should ignore any sounds made by students in the class (such as talking, coughing, feet shuffling, and writing) and only pay attention to those sounds that aren’t produced by the class.
Environmental sounds are simply those that are not voiced or musical.
Students will have many of the same sounds on their lists. Differences arise when sounds are hard to hear or are ever present and therefore difficult to notice.
Context is important. A piece of music played during a parade may convey a different emotion from the same music played at a funeral. A whistle blown by a policeman directing traffic has a different meaning from a whistle blown by an official at a sporting event.
Figure 2.4. The same sound can have different meanings that depend on context.
|Activity 1: How Do We Understand?|
|What the Teacher Does||Procedure Reference|
Review the Path to Understanding diagram from Lesson 1.
Part 1, Step 1
Silently mouth the sentence, “I wonder if you can read my lips,” to the class.
|Part 1, Step 2|
Use a happy expression to mouth the sentence, “You’re the best class that I’ve ever had.”
|Part 1, Step 3|
Use an angry or sad expression to mouth the sentence, “I’ve just won $1 million in the lottery.”
|Part 1, Step 4|
Ask the class to summarize the roles of visual cues in human communication.
|Part 1, Step 5|
Ask the students whether other aspects of speech convey meaning.
|Part 2, Step 1|
Write the sentence, “The blue fish is too big for that tank,” on the board.
|Part 2, Step 2|
Have students suggest another sentence that can convey different meanings depending on how it is said.
|Part 2, Step 3|
|Summarize how word stress and intonation can affect meaning.||Part 2, Step 4|
|Ask if a speaker’s emotion affects understanding.||Part 3, Step 1|
Recite a random series of numbers using a voice that conveys a specific emotion.
|Part 3, Steps 2 and 3|
Reinforce the importance of multisensory communication.
|Part 3, Steps 4 and 5|
|Activity 2: Sound Safari|
|What the Teacher Does||Procedure Reference|
|Have students give examples of voiced, musical, and environmental sounds.||Steps 1–3|
Take class on a short walk through the school.
|Steps 2 and 3|
After returning to classroom,
|Steps 4 and 5|
Have students discuss how they use their senses to interpret musical and environmental sounds.
|= Involves copying a master.|
|= Involves using a transparency.|