- Identical sets of ten tall glasses (the number of sets you need depends on the number of students)
- Grease pencil
Tips for teachers:
I suggest dividing a class of 30 kids into three groups with a set of glasses per group. If your students are very young, you may want to pour the water yourself. Don't forget to keep paper towels nearby to wipe up spills.
Steps for Students:
- With your group, hold up a ruler to the side of a glass.
- Measure the height of the glass, then subtract 1 inch for room at the top.
- Divide this measurement by 10, and with a grease pencil draw lines to indicate the 10 sections on each glass.
- Fill the first glass with water up to the first section. Label this glass number 1 with the grease pencil.
- Then fill the second glass up to the second section. Label it 2.
- Fill the next glass to the third section and label it 3, and so on until the tenth glass is filled with water to the tenth section.
- Mark off the tenth glass with the numeral 0.
- After all the glasses are filled with appropriate amount of water, line them up in order from 1 to 0.
- With a teaspoon, gently tap the first glass near the rim and listen for the sound. Notice the tone, then tap the second glass. As the numbers get higher and the amount of water increases, you should hear the tones get lower.
- Using a teaspoon, have one student tap his or her phone number on the glasses. For example, if the phone number is 555-1234, the student will tap the glass labeled number 5 three times, then go on to tap 1, 2, 3, then 4. Listen to the sounds and notice the notes being played. How does it sound?
- Give everyone a turn to play his or her own phone number. (Anyone who doesn't have a phone number can make one up.)
- Have students bring in narrow-neck bottles, such as soda bottles. Have them blow across the openings to make tones. Help kids figure out that the shape and size of the bottle determines the sounds it will produce.
- Next, have them add water to the bottles, blow, and notice the difference in tones. Help students figure out that as they add more water to the bottle, the tone gets lower.
- Set up five or six glasses, each filled with a different amount of water, on a table and ask for volunteers to be in the band.
- One at a time, have each student wet his or her index finger with water (vinegar works even better) and rub it along the rim of a glass. Notice the different tones.
- Then have the band play together. Can they play a song?
Graph Your Numbers
- Construction paper
- Black marker
- Tempera paint (crayons optional)
Steps for Students:
- On construction paper, plot your phone number as if on a graph.
- Play it on the glasses and listen to how the tones go up and down, just like the points on the graph.
- Connect the dots with a marker.
- Make a design with parallel lines.
- Describe what your phone number sounds like (happy, sad, scary, and so on) when you play it on the glasses. What color goes with the sound?
- Choose colors and paint the design.
- On white paper, write a few sentences describing your number graph. What does the sound make you think of? Why did you choose the colors you did? Attach it to your graph.