Shakin' and a Movin'

23 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT explain ways that sound can make matter vibrate.

Big Idea

Students will explore three different learning stations to discover how sound makes matter vibrate. They will have to answer the question, "Can sound make matter vibrate?"

Setting the Stage:

Next Generation Science Standards Connection:

Students will listen to a read aloud about matter and explore the vocabulary solid, liquid and gas.  Then after being asked to discover ways that sound can make matter move they will investigate, observe and answer this question.  Using cause and effect the students will demonstrate an understanding of the sound waves ability to move various phases of matter. Students will record their observations and evidence in their science journals.

Classroom Structures:

In order to support a high level of student discourse within my science lessons I have assigned two different student partnerships.  Turn and Talk Partners are discourse partners that work together to share the deep thinking that happens throughout the day.  Workshop Partners are partners who are matched together for the purpose of working during our independent times.  In this lesson students will be engaged in both partnerships.

Prior Knowledge Needed:

Students should have a basic understanding of sound waves or vibrations. This lesson will deepen their understanding of matter and how sound can make it move.

Home-School Connection:

I LOVE involving parents in the learning in my classroom.  This parent letter is both an introduction to our next two units as well as a request for supplies. Many of the items used to teach this unit are recyclable items so I request parent help as well as help from my colleagues in collecting items.


1. Book: FOSS stories: Solids and Liquids

2. 3 Bowls covered with plastic wrap: salt, sugar, sand and rice

3. Different instruments, pots and spoon

4. Two tubs of water and tuning forks

5. Bubbles Recipes

6. Science Worksheet

7. science vocabulary

8. Science Journal - I use blank paper in my journals so my students have more space and freedom to experiment with graphic organizers, illustrations, etc.

8. Can sound make matter vibrate?


15 minutes

To begin this lesson I want to activate student prior knowledge by reminding the students what they learned in our previous lesson about sound Va-Va-Vibrations. To help my students be successful in this next lesson I will introduce the different phases of matter. We will read FOSS Science Stories: Solids and Liquids.

"Boys and girls the other day you learned that when you hear loud sounds, soft sounds, high sounds, and low sounds it is because you are hearing different vibration (or waves) that are sending signals to your brain telling you what you are hearing. When the sound goes high the waves are moving really fast but when the sound is low the vibrations are moving really slow. That is called pitch.  We also learned that we can make the vibrations very large and the sound becomes louder and then we can make the vibrations small and the sound becomes quiet. That is called changing the volume. When the vibrations stop so does the sound.  Today I am going to read this book called Solids and Liquids.

As I read this book I want to be careful to include the vocabulary from the text (matter - solid, liquid, gas) to provide a scaffold between their language and the "science" language.  I will read sections the first two sections to help build the science vocabulary (solid, liquid, gas, matter) and add those words on our science bulletin board under "Science Vocabulary."  I will point out that matter is anything that takes up space.  We will briefly explore what that means by looking at stuff that takes up space (chair, air in a zip-lock bag, kids, pencil). I will tell the children that there are 3 phases (or states) of matter: solid, liquid, gas. The book will point out different examples of each.  The next part of our lesson will have students exploring how sound makes different phases of matter move so it is helpful to for students to have that language before getting started.

High level speaking and listening skills are important in preparing our students to be college and career ready.  I am always finding ways to allow for student discourse throughout the day. After the read aloud, I ask my students to share their thinking with their Turn and Talk Partners. 

Please take a minute and share your thinking with your Turn and Talk Partner.  I will be listening for you to use words like solid, liquid and gas as you talk today. Okay! Turn and talk!

I give them a few minutes to share their thinking and then point out some of the good thinking I heard them sharing.

Boys and girls, you shared some great ideas today.  Wilder, you said that matter can be a gas, solid or liquid. You are RIGHT!!  Rylie, you said a gas is like air and solid is like a table! That is right!  Can anyone give me an example of a liquid?  I give the class a chance to yell out any liquids they can think of.  Great! I think we are ready to begin!


25 minutes

For this activity you may want to have some volunteers to help with the different stations but it is not necessary if you don't mind a little bit of controlled chaos.  There are a total of three different stations for the students to explore. If the weather is nice we will take these stations outdoors to the picnic tables or sidewalk.

Solids and Sound Waves: At this station I will need three bowls with plastic wrap tightly secured to the bowl. On top of the bowls I have a sugar crystals, salt crystals, rice and sand.  The students will use different instruments, pots and spoons as well as their voices to see what sound (pitch, volume) makes the sugar bounce. 

Water and Sound Waves: At this station I have two tubs of water and four tuning forks.  The students will hit the tuning fork on the table and then hold it above the water to observe what happens.  They will have to explore what vibrations caused movement to the liquid.

Air and Sound Waves: At this station students will blow bubbles and then will use their voice or clapping to make the bubbles move. 

In Science and Engineering Practice 4 students are asked to analyze data and at the K-2 level this means students collect, record, and share observations. In this lesson the students will be recording information, thoughts and ideas in their science journals. After exploring each station the children will record their findings on a science page.  For these entries I have created a journal page that the students can glue into their journals after it has been completed.  This will make the recording simplified for my students. 

Boys and girls, today you will be visiting three different sound exploration stations. As you are working you will be asking yourself a very important question.  Can sound make matter vibrate? Today you will observe sound moving matter and traveling through matter.  As you are exploring today I want you to observe what is happening to the solids, liquids and gases. One very part of this exploration is the work you do on your science handout.  This work will tell me what you learned at each station. Before we get started let's take a tour so you know how to work at each stop.

At this station there are four bowls each with a different solid.  You will draw what happens as you scream at each bowl. If the object doesn't move, you may need to scream louder.  Be sure to record what happens at each bowl on your science page.

At this next station you need to be very careful. Do not put these metal tuning forks in the water but rather above the water. You will hit the fork like this (Gently hit the fork on something solid) and then hold it above the water.  Draw what happens on your tuning fork section of your science page. If nothing happens try again but hit the the tuning fork a different way.

Lastly you will each get to visit this station. These are BUBBLES!!! It is so important that we only use these bubbles for learning today.  You will blow bubbles and then using sound (your voice or clapping) you will explore ways that you can try to make these bubbles move. Be sure to tell me what worked the very best on your bubbles section of your science page.

Ok, it is time to divide you into working groups.  Be sure to use this time to learn all about ways that sound makes matter vibrate! Off you go!

As we break from our loud investigation and the students are quietly working in their journals I will walk around and confer with each group naming and noticing the smart thinking happening. Conferring is the process of listening and recording the work the student or students are doing and then compliment the work. As I listen, I research a teaching point and then work to provide clarification through questioning, modeling and reteaching. 



5 minutes

I have the students join me on the carpet (our meeting area) to explain their new understandings. I ask the students a question, "Can sound make matter vibrate?" I allow the children a few minutes to share their thinking with their Turn and Talk Partner.  As they are sharing I wander the group to listen in the conversations. I want to listen for both new understandings and misconceptions.  When we rejoin I share out all the smart thinking I heard.

WOW! Boys and girls you have shared so many smart things I don't even know where to begin.  Nate, you said sound can make water vibrate.  I love the you used the word vibrate and sound because those our two very important vocabulary words for us to know. I am going to write that on our chart. Hunter, you said that sound made the bubbles move.  You are right. I am going to write sound made bubbles (air) vibrate. Vincent you told Patrick that when you just talked the sugar didn't move but when you yelled at it the loud sound made the sugar move.  I am going to write, loud sounds made the sugar vibrate.

Boys and girls can we all agree that sound can indeed make matter vibrate? Great job today!!


5 minutes

In this part of the lesson I will challenge my students to apply what they have learned. I will build upon their new understanding of concepts.

Boys and girls, you know that sound can make matter vibrate!  Do you want to know why? Sound is a form of energy.  It is something we can feel.  How many of you feel wild when you eat sugar? That is because you get more energy.  Sound energy can change just like our energy. When I run my heart gets beating really fast just like those loud sound waves that made the sugar rattle all about.  Today you noticed that as the sounds get louder the objects were vibrating.  The louder sound gets the more it causes stuff to rattle or move. For example, the louder you scream at the sugar the more it rattles. If you turn the volume up on your television or radio the sound it makes will cause small objects in the room to shake and move.

Can you tell me how sound might help people and animals be safe during a thunderstorm?

The students will have a variety of answers.  I will listening for answers like, "You can hear the thunder and that tells us that the lightening is close by." Or, "When you hear thunder sometimes it is so loud you can feel it shake the house. You should to go inside because it is not safe." 


5 minutes

As we sit in our meeting area I conclude by saying, "Boys and girls today and everyday when you hear sounds or make sounds I want you to know that your sound waves can make matter move.  When the sound waves are REALLY loud they can move solids, liquids and gases. Sound waves are very powerful and can be used great ways.  

In order to check for understanding, I ask my students to answer our question today.   I want you to think for a minute and see if you can answer our question today.  Can sound waves make matter move? Please share with your turn and talk partner.

Boys and girls will you take a minute to write one thing you learned today in your science journal? Please be sure to tell me why you think that. Great! Off you go!