Sample Lesson for Made In China
by Suzanne Morgan Williams


Measuring With Sound

Chinese bonze bells may have been used as a standard way to measure grain. Noblemen matched their bells’ tones to those of their lords. The bells were shaped something like scoops. Could they have been giant measuring cups?

Try this experiment to see how the idea works:

You and your partner need:


  1. Set up three glasses (one from each of the matched pairs) on each side of the divider. A student works on either side of the divider. Don’t peek!
  2. One student rings a glass with his or her spoon. The other student rings all three glasses to find the one that SOUNDS the SAME.
  3. When you have decided your glasses sound alike, fill each glass with water. Measure the water. Is the amount the same?
  4. Now show each other the glasses you chose. Do they match?
  5. Repeat twice more. Write down your results.

Try the experiment again with more glasses. Can you think of some qualities that make the sounds of the glasses change?



Copyright 2008 - 2018 by Suzanne Morgan Williams