“If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” – right? This week, the Quartz educators decided to embrace this thousand year old quote to address the constant sound of fire truck sirens in the classroom. We get it – saying “wee-oh, wee-oh, wee-oh” is so much fun and so contagious. We also acknowledge that the children have found a way to vocalize their love of fire trucks and fire fighters. As well, we admire them for being so persistent. But, to endlessly remind them to save their loud voices for outside was getting tiresome.
The solution was to find a way to channel the noise and take a closer look at it if possible. What better way to do this than by making megaphones! We rolled up heavy paper, taped the edges and trimmed the ends. At first the children were reluctant to use them. They made better telescopes and even birthday hats. But, with a little coaxing and role modeling, the children realized that by putting the small end to their mouth and speaking through it, their sound power was amplified. We explored sound waves by making high pitched sounds and then lower pitched sounds with our vocal cords. Up close, the sound that was coming out was sort of like an echo, but different and hard to explain.
Taking the megaphones outside gave us more opportunities to experience the qualities the megaphones provided. We found out that we could get someone’s attention by pointing the megaphone toward them and then shouting. This magic cone could direct sound waves and radiate them at the same time! What a great discovery we have made. Now the megaphones are not only used to extend our fire truck play, but to sing with, whisper with and experiment with. See what can happen when you surrender and just join ‘em? Magic.