What should my students understand about echolocation?

The topic of echolocation can be very complicated. For students in this young age group, there is no need to delve into the complexities of sound waves or to distinguish between high and low frequency sounds. The main idea to get across is that sounds bounce off of objects and that animals and humans can use 'sound bouncing' as a method for understanding their environment.

Even this idea will be difficult for young students to grasp if it is only presented in words. This lesson, therefore, is designed to have students experience the phenomenon of echolocation firsthand to take the concept out of theory and into practice. Paying special attention to the challenge presented by individual differences, this lesson will also provide many options for learning differences and disabilities, according to the Universal Design for Learning guidelines.

After completing this lesson, students should be able to describe, in some way, how sound can be used to explore an environment. They may also extend further into understanding how we can use our senses powerfully in ways that we're not used to, and that some students with learning differences have to do this all the time. This lesson is therefore not only universally designed, but in itself an exemplar of the underlying premise of Universal Design for Learning.

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