New
New
Year 4

Noise pollution: acceptable decibel levels (non-statutory)

I can compare acceptable decibel levels and classify sounds as noise pollution.

New
New
Year 4

Noise pollution: acceptable decibel levels (non-statutory)

I can compare acceptable decibel levels and classify sounds as noise pollution.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. Noise is unwanted or unpleasant sound.
  2. Noise pollution describes levels of noise in an environment that are unwanted or harmful.
  3. The volume of sound is measured in decibels (dB).
  4. Normal conversation is approximately 60 dB.
  5. A decibel scale can be used to find out if sounds should be classified as noise pollution.

Common misconception

Children may think that any sound is classified as noise, or that only very loud sounds are considered to be noise pollution.

Explain that unpleasant or unwanted sounds are classified as noise. Noise pollution does not have to be loud, it can be an intermittent or continuous quieter noise that becomes a problem.

Keywords

  • Sound - We hear sound with our ears.

  • Noise - Noise is unpleasant or unwanted sound.

  • Classify - To classify is to sort objects into groups.

  • Noise pollution - Noise pollution is when sound becomes extremely unpleasant or unbearable and is a problem.

  • Decibel - The volume of sound is measured in decibels (dB).

Ask children to suggest a range of different sounds they might classify as noise, and ensure that they are not all necessarily loud noises.
Teacher tip

Equipment

Data logger with a sound sensor, or electronic device with sound sensor app.

Content guidance

  • Exploration of objects encouraged.

Supervision

Adult supervision recommended.

Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

Video

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6 Questions

Q1.
Which parts of the body do we use to hear sound?
An image in a quiz
Correct Answer: ears, ear, eardrum
Q2.
What is the volume of a sound?
An image in a quiz
Correct answer: How loud or quiet a sound is.
How a sound is made.
How often you hear a sound.
Q3.
Which of the following is the correct unit of measurement for the volume of sound?
decibels (DB)
decibels (dcB)
decibels (Db)
Correct answer: decibels (dB)
decibels (db)
Q4.
The piece of equipment shown in the image contains a sound sensor and can be used to measure and record the volume of a sound. What is it called?
An image in a quiz
Correct Answer: data logger, Data logger, datalogger, Datalogger
Q5.
What does it mean to classify objects?
Correct answer: Sort objects into groups based on their similiarities.
Count objects to see how many there are.
Predict what will happen when you test objects.
Q6.
What do we call a material that can help to block sound waves from travelling?
An image in a quiz
sound vibrator
sound conductor
Correct answer: sound insulator

6 Questions

Q1.
Which of the following can be classified as noise?
An image in a quiz
pleasant sound
Correct answer: unpleasant sound
peaceful sound
Correct answer: unwanted sound
Q2.
What unit is the symbol dB used for?
Correct Answer: decibels, Decibels, decibel
Q3.
Put the following sounds in order of increasing volume from the quietest to loudest.
1 - normal breathing
2 - whispering
3 - light rainfall
4 - lawn mower
5 - ambulance siren
Q4.
Which of the following is the approximate volume of normal conversation?
An image in a quiz
6 dB
16 dB
Correct answer: 60 dB
160 dB
Q5.
Levels of noise in an environment that are unwanted or harmful are classified as noise ...
An image in a quiz
clean–up.
Correct answer: pollution.
damage.
injury.
Q6.
What can a decibel scale be used for?
An image in a quiz
Correct answer: To give examples of common sounds and their approximate decibel reading.
To find out the size of vibrations by weighing them on a scale.
Correct answer: To find out if sounds should be classified as noise pollution.
To take the temperature of a noisy room.
Q6 trgrowth/Shutterstock