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Sound is Energy

You may want to start with a great video introducing vibration, pitch, and how sound travels from Teachers' Domain.

If your students want to know exactly how a bird's voicebox compares to a human's, see this 30-second excerpt from the animated film The Language of Birds, produced in collaboration with the Science Museum of Museum. (If you're able to plan a trip to the Cornell Lab, you can see the whole 10-minute movie on the big screen! If your school doesn't block YouTube, you can also view it on the Cornell Lab's YouTube Channel).


You will need to download Raven Lite sound visualization software for use in the lesson. It's free, and more tailored for educational use than programs like Audacity or Garage Band. 

However, you will need to: 1. download the program, 2. install it, and 3. go back online to register for a free license. Be sure you plan ahead in case you need help from a technology coordinator to do this before the lesson. Example sounds come with the full installation of Raven Lite, or can be downloaded separately. If you want more sound files to play with, you can right-click on the links on the Why Birds Sing page to download the recordings of common Eastern U.S. birds.