top of page

Sense of Hearing: We Hear With Our Ears

lesson plan and resources about the sense of hearing we hear with our ears

This lesson contains affiliate links to products I have used and personally recommend. At no cost to you, I make a commission for purchases made through the links or advertisements. These commissions help to pay for the costs of the site and enable it to remain free for anyone who wants to use it. 


- Students will demonstrate how the ears are required to intake audio information from the world around us.

Question that encompasses the objective:

Why is it important to protect our ears and how can we do so?

Prepare the Learner: Activating Prior Knowledge. 

How will students prior knowledge be activated?

Warm up by turning your back to students. Make three different noises that they can identify, for example a whistle, a knock, and a crying or sobbing sound.
- After each, ask students what you are doing?
- Ask them how they know because they can’t see you?
- Expected responses should demonstrate they know what you are doing because they can hear you.

Materials and Free Resources to Download for this Lesson: 

  1. Set of good headphones to muffle sound, i.e. ear protection type

  2. YouTube video called First Knowledge: The Hearing and the Ear by Eleftherios Katsaros

  3. One plastic cup per student

  4. One paperclip per student

  5. One length of cotton string, 15-25 feet, per two students 

  6. Independent Closing Assessment

What is the most important content in this lesson?
To reach this lesson’s objective, students need to understand:
1. Hearing is the primary sense involved in receiving and processing audio information.
2. The ear is responsible for the intake of audio information.
3. Hearing serves many purposes in the real world, and as such, we must protect our ears. 

How will the learning of this content be facilitated?

  • In this lesson, students will be initially engaged by playing a game of Simon Says, whereby being required to use only information that is heard to be successful. Students will discuss how being able to use their ears is crucial in this game.

  • In the next part of the activity, students will watch a brief YouTube video that explains that the sense of hearing relies on our ears.

  • Next, students will participate in a hands-on activity to demonstrate how ears are necessary to intake sound. The three easy steps to create a plastic cup telephone are in Part 2, and then students create and practice using their own with a partner. Students work with their partner, to reflect on their learning, discussing how the phone is not effective when the listener does not have the cup to his/her ear.

  • Finally, the students will answer a written independent assessment question that requires students to demonstrate understanding of the objective, that the ears are required to intake audio information, in terms of real world application, how and why it is important to protect our ears.  

3-5 minutes
Guided Introduction

  • Review the agenda with the students:

  • Guided Mini-Lesson: Simon Says (10 minutes)

  • Activity Part 1: YouTube Video (5 minutes)

  • Activity Part 2:  Telephone Talk, Can You Hear Me? (20 minutes)

  • Independent Assessment (10 minutes)

10 minutes
Guided Mini-Lesson: Simon Says

Begin by playing a game of Simon Says.

  • Ask students to stand around you in a semi circle.

  • Introduce the game, Simon Says, and ensure students are familiar by reviewing the rules. You must do the actions requested by the teacher, only if he/she first says, “Simon Says.” If you do the action and the teacher has not said, “Simon Says,” you must sit down. For example, the teacher says, “Simon Says pat your head,” the students will follow. The teacher says, “Hop on one foot,” the students will not follow. The teacher will mimic the actions whether or not he/she says, “Simon Says,” in a effort to trick students into relying on their visual sense, as opposed to hearing.

  • Begin the game. Once a few students are sitting, ask them what “tricked” them. The response you are looking for should include, because I did what I saw you doing. I relied on my eyes not my ears and, I didn’t hear you.

  • Ask students who are still standing, what sense they are focusing on. Responses should include their hearing. Ask these students what part of their body is most involved in receiving the information necessary to be successful at Simon Says. Responses should indicate their ears.

  • Explain to students you are going to test this theory. Ask a volunteer to wear a set of headphones while playing the game with you alone. Other students will observe. After a short time, have the student remove the headphones and discuss his/her behavior as a class. Did the student play the game successfully, why or why not? Expected responses, no because he/she had their ears covered and therefore could not hear you. 

Part 1:
5 Minutes

Activity Part 1: YouTube Video

  • As a class watch, The Hearing and the Ear by Eleftherios Katsaros

  • Ask student volunteers to share the main idea of this video with the class. Responses should indicate that our hearing allows us to hear sounds, we hear because of our ears.

Part 2:
20 Minutes

Activity Part 2: Telephone Talk, Can You Hear Me?

  • Tell students they are going to make a device similar to the first telephone.

  • Divide students into pairs.

  • Give each student a plastic cup and paper clip. Give each student pair a length of cotton string, 15-25 feet long.

  • Explain and model, asking students to complete as you do, steps 4-6 (5-10 minutes).

  • Punch a hole in the bottom of the cup with a pencil.

  • Thread one end of the string through the hole.

  • Tie the loose end, inside the cup to the paperclip.

  • Demonstrate how to use the homemade telephone with a student volunteer. Hold one cup, while your volunteer holds the other. Walk apart so the string becomes tight. Ask your volunteer to hold the cup to his/her ear, while you hold the other cup to your mouth. Speak into the cup and ask your volunteer to repeat what you said (5 minutes).

  • Students will find quiet places to practice using their telephones, taking turns, talking and listening (2-3 minutes).

  • Ask students to try holding their telephones to other parts of their body, instead of their ear, while their partner speaks into his/her cup (2-3 minutes).

  • Ask student pairs to discuss what happened. Could they hear their partner, why or why not? Responses should indicate that they could not hear their partner because they were not using their ears. 

10 minutes
Independent Assessment:

Why is it important to protect our ears and how can we do so?
Answer: Our ears are responsible for the intake of all audio information in our world. We must protect our ears because we use the information they take in for many purposes, including communication and protection. We protect our ears from the cold with hats, we protect our ears from loud noises by covering our ears or wearing protection, we protect our ears from water by wearing ears plugs, etc. 

Individualized Instruction/Scaffolding
English Language Learners/Students with IEPS will be supported in this lesson through written repetition of new vocabulary words, and multiple representation of vocabulary words through printed images. In addition, scaffolds such as sentence starters and note-taking graphic organizers should be implemented at the teacher’s discretion.

bottom of page