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Abstract

This study is an exploration of several lessons on sound taught to third grade students using one of the Next Generation Science Standards (3-5-ETS1) and arts integration. A counterbalanced, pretest- posttest- distal posttest design experiment was conducted to compare student knowledge and attitudes between the control and experimental conditions. Control activities included learning about either stringed or percussion instruments (whichever not addressed in the experimental condition) through online searches for information and writing a factual paragraph; experimental activities included creating a percussion or stringed instrument using classroom art materials purchased with an imaginary budget. One group experienced the experimental condition focusing on stringed instruments while the experimental condition for the other group focused on percussion. Results indicated no significant differences on the posttest, distal posttest, or gain scores. Scoring of lesson products (control condition paragraphs compared to experimental condition student-made instruments) indicated a significant difference favoring the experimental condition with a medium effect size. Student attitudes at the time of the distal posttest indicated a significant difference in enjoyment favoring the experimental condition with a medium effect size; there was no significant difference in student attitudes of perceived learning. Although learning occurred in both conditions, students reported the more rewarding experience involved creating the sound making instruments.