Add to collection
  • + Create new collection
  • This article is an overview of sound. It gives a brief summary of the following topics:

    • characteristics of sound waves
    • how the human ear works
    • hearing loss in humans
    • how animal ears work
    • echolocation
    • sonar.

    The illustrations provide multiple discussion points and opportunities to practise the science capability interpret representations.

    The section on hearing loss has links to Students can test the upper limits of hearing and the ‘mosquito tone’ audibility. Students might enjoy debating the ethics of using a ‘mosquito tone’ to discourage teenage loitering.

    Teacher support material

    Check your school resource area for the article from the 2016 level 4 Connected journal ‘Getting the Message’ download it as a Google slide presentation or order it from the Ministry of Education.

    The teacher support material (TSM) can be downloaded from TKI (Word and PDF files available). It includes the learning activities – Communicating our knowledge, Helping us hear and harnessing sound – along with related resource links.

    Related content

    Echolocation – discover more New Zealand bats – pekapeka and how they use sound.

    Check out our entire range of Connected articles here. We’ve curated them by topic and concepts.

    Human hearing



    Sound waves



    Sonar – here’s an example of sonar in action: Pink and White Terraces.

    PLD Webinar

    Use the recorded PLD webinar Sounds of Aotearoa to explore fun ways you can learn and teach about sound.

    Useful link

    The Connected journals can be ordered from the Down the Back of the Chair website. Access to these resources is restricted to Ministry-approved education providers. To find out if you are eligible for a login or if you have forgotten your login details, contact their customer services team on 0800 660 662 or email


    The Connected series is published annually by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.

      Published 24 February 2020 Referencing Hub articles
          Go to full glossary
          Download all