How Loud Is Too Loud?

Teacher Resources Student Resources


    Everything you hear from the time you wake up in the morning until the time you go to bed at night effects your hearing.  Many teachers are getting complaints from the staff about the cafeteria being too loud.

     The principal has come up with a great project for the fifth grade students.  You are to research and answer the question "How loud is too loud?" in the format of a pamphlet to be placed in the school office.  The pamphlet will eventually be distributed at a grade level open house held during the school year.

      Keep in mind while researching  your topic, you will be expected to fill the role of a scientist and a technology specialist.  You will be required to experiment with vibrations, take field notes, and visit supporting websites. 


You and your partner are to research :





  • PowerPoint - to persuade your audience how loud is too loud.
    • On the first slide, include group names.

    • On the second slide, include information about the harmful effects of excessive loud noises.  

    • On the third slide, include examples of harmful sounds you encounter on a daily basis.

    • On the fourth slide, include  suggestions to protect your hearing from daily noise pollution.

    • On the fifth slide, include a conclusion.

    Be sure to include a graphic that will enhance your power point presentation.



The following scoring tools will be used to assess both the process of gathering information and your finished product:



Essential Question:  How loud is too loud? 

Subsidiary questions

  • What is sound and how is it produced?
  • What is compression?
  • What are sound waves?
  • How are amplitude, wave length and frequency connected?
  • What determines the loudness of a sound?
  • What is the relationship between frequency and the pitch of a sound wave?
  • What are some harmful sounds that you might be exposed to that could damage your hearing?
  • How is a longitudinal wave different from a transverse wave?



Gather and Sort

Student and computer

Gather information from a variety of sources.

Sort your research findings using this graphic organizer:  The Note Taking Organizer On Loudness.  Be sure to avoid plagiarism and keep track of your resources for a bibliography, or Works Cited page.  Need help creating the citation?  Try Quick Cite by Noodle Tools.



Analyze your completed graphic organizer.  If you do not have enough information to answer your questions, return to the Resources page and look for more information.  If you do have enough information, then, synthesize your findings by choosing to answer one of  the following questions using a ECR format.
  • How does the amplitude of a wave affect the loudness of a sound?
  • What might affect wave length?
  • How can vibrations be felt when an object produces a sound?



Reflection and/or Extension Activities:  Take some time to reflect on your research.  Now ask yourself the following question:  How does the information that you've collected help you to better understand the elements of sound?  Write a letter to a fourth grade student explaining some harmful sounds we are exposed to on a daily basis and what we can do to prevent permanent hearing loss.


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Last update: May 2005
Created by Ruthie Long & Kathy Wilson


BCPS Research Module, Copyright 2003, Baltimore County Public Schools, MD, all rights reserved. This Research Module may be used for educational, non-profit school use only. All other uses, transmissions, and duplications are prohibited unless permission is granted expressly.

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