Listen! Listen! Listen!

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SWBAT identify that sound are everywhere.

Big Idea

Let's go on a listening walk and discover sound!! We will use our five senses to learn about the world around us!!

Setting the Stage

National Science Education Standards:

The best way for our young students to learn is by doing.  Young children are naturally curious and this curiosity drives the learning that children experience before even entering school. It is important to allow our students to use this same curiosity and understand that questioning, observing, wondering and discovering are what scientists do all the time. The National Science Education Standards states, "Full inquiry involves asking a simple question , completing an investigation, answering the question, and presenting the results to others." Since science literacy requires that students are actively involved in exploring science in the same way that resembles how scientists go about their everyday work. This lesson allows to students to discover how their five senses help them learn about the world around them.

Next Generation Science Standards Connection:

Students will investigate sounds in their environment and record their observations and evidence in their scientific 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 will need to know that our 5 Senses are tools that help us gather information and learn about the world around us.  We will be utilizing our senses for observation throughout the lesson.

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.


1.5 Senses Poster

2. My Five Senses by Aliki

3. The Listening Walk

4. Anchor Chart (Complete with students)

5. Science Anecdotal Records

6. science vocabulary

7. Science Journal (Avery Labels 5163) - I use blank paper in my journals so my students have more space and freedom to experiment with graphic organizers, illustrations, etc.


5 minutes

I begin this lesson by reminding my students that we are scientists. It is important for our youngest learners to understand that the work scientists do is very similar to their every day thinking and wondering. 

I lower my voice almost to a whisper "Today we are going to be scientists!" I make sure I emphasize the word scientists! After my students celebrate with a cheer I hold up our poster with the 5 Senses and continue, "Boys and girls, we have 5 very important tools that are a part of our body.  We have eyes that help us see, ears that help us (I pause and all the students yell) hearWe have a tongue that helps us taste, a nose that helps us to smell and skin that helps us to touch and feel. These are called our five senses.   I am going to read this book called My Five Senses by Aliki. As I read I want you to think about all the ways you can use your five senses to learn new stuff.

After I read the book I allow my students to share their thinking with their Turn and Talk Partners.  Boys and girls please share ways that you use your five senses to learn about new things.


20 minutes

Scientists use these five senses to help them learn about the world and we are going to do the exact same thing. Today you are going to use your senses to answer this question - What sounds are at school?  We will be using our sense of hearing to listen to all the sounds in our environment and we will do this by going on a listening walk around the school. Some sounds on our listening walk are living things and if we are noisy we could scare away or even miss a really good sound so it is so important that we be very, very quiet.

You will be working in partnerships to discover sounds together. I want you to record the sounds you hear on this Listening Walk worksheet.  Please write the word of what you hear in one of the boxes.  If I hear a cough, I will use my best spelling and write cough like this.  I model how to fill in this sheet before sending them off.

The purpose of our listening walk is to provide students time to think and wonder about the sounds around them.  This will activate prior knowledge and prepare them for the thinking and wondering that will happen throughout the lesson. On the listening walk I ask my students questions like, "How does it make that sound?" or "What did you notice about that sound?" Student responses will vary but try to guide them to wonder about how sounds are made. 


5 minutes

When we return to the classroom I ask my students to meet me in the meeting area to report their findings to the class.

Boys and girls you were asked to learn about sounds at school.  I would like you and your partner to report out what you noticed.  Will you please sit here in our chairs labeled scientists. It is your turn to do something else that scientists do.  Scientists have to report their findings to other scientists all the time. When you sit in these chairs you have to look at your audience, speak loud enough for everyone to hear you and sit up straight.  Who is ready to be our first group of scientists to report out today?

As the children are reporting I am recording any misconceptions or new learning on my record keeping sheet.  This is a great formative assessment that will drive the instruction in our next lesson.  I make a copy of each of the student recording sheets that the students filled out on our listening walk so both partners can keep a copy in their science folders.


10 minutes

On an anchor chart I write the word sound real big and then I tell the children that sounds can be loud, soft, short/quick and long.  In one of the columns I write the word loud on our chart and ask the children which sounds were loud? I do the same for soft, short and long. Each student quickly draws a picture of one of the sounds from their chart.  We use those pictures to fill in our anchor chart.  As we are filling in our anchor chart I want the students to notice that sounds can have more than one trait. 

After filling in our anchor chart I ask the children, "What is sound?"

Boys and girls today you listened to all sorts of sounds here at school.  You heard birds singing, cars honking, kids laughing, feet walking, and so much more. You heard loud sounds and soft sounds, quick sounds and long sounds.  With all you have learned today can you answer my question? What is sound?  Please turn to your Turn and Talk Partner and share you thinking today.

As my students share their thinking I listen in on the conversations.  This information will help drive the learning that happens throughout this unit. 

Then I show the students some of the science vocabulary that we learned in this lesson and add it to our Science Vocabulary to our bulletin board.


5 minutes

Writing in first grade can be in the form of illustrations, labels, and words.  In science I have my students write in a journal during and/or after every science lesson and use these journals to gain deeper insight on student learning. This type of writing must be explicitly taught in all subject areas.  With each writing I explicitly teach one thing that I want my students to do in their science writing and show them a model before sending them off to write. Today they will learn how to draw like a scientist.

In order to check for understanding, I introduce their science journals.  I ask my students to take a few minutes to draw a picture of one of the sounds they heard today on our nature walk.  Boys and girls, today you will draw like scientists.  This is not a time for rushing or scribbling. This is serious work. I want you to close your eyes and imagine the sound you heard. Can you picture it?  What color is it?  Is it small? Is it big?  Today when you draw this object in your science journal you need to draw it slowly and carefully.  If you are drawing the bird that was whistling in the tree it is important that you draw it just how it looked.  Was the bird purple?  Was the bird blue? Was the bird all brown with a red chest?  You have to draw it brown with a red chest.  Are you ready to give this a go? Don’t forget to label your picture so your reader knows just what you are drawing. As I walk around I will be looking for illustrations that have accurate pictures and labels. 

As we sit in our meeting area I conclude by saying, "Boys and girls today and everyday when you on the playground, at lunch, at home or even running errands with your parents you will hear sounds. Sounds are everywhere!!"