Sounds Abound

13 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT identify sounds from around the school building.

Big Idea

Today students will take their own listening walk as they quietly walk around the school and note the sounds they hear.

Setting the Stage

1 minutes

The students will start by gathering on the carpet to read a book and have an initial class discussion.  They will then go on a quick trip around the building, listening for sounds. The lesson will conclude with a class discussion of their findings and the development of key vocabulary term.  I am choosing this activity because it allows everyone to be successfully independent with identifying sounds but also allows students to understand that sounds are all around us.  The students are able to obtain observation data and then report it out to the class during the discussion.   

Our district has not moved toward implementation of the NGSS yet.  However, sound waves is a concept that is in our current curriculum.  I am pushing my students toward the full NGSS expectations of both light and sound waves.  Since it is above what the district requires, I am can push the students to go beyond the expectations.  Below is the district Grade Expectations for this unit.

Grade Expectations:

S1-2:7 Students demonstrate their ability to EXPLAIN DATA by…
  • Developing a reasonable explanation based upon observations (e.g., I found out…).
S1-2:29 Students demonstrate their understanding of Sound Energy by…
  • Investigating different objects, observing and describing the vibrations of those objects and the sounds that are made.

Science Concepts:

      a. Sound is caused by vibrating objects.


10 minutes

"SSSSHHHHHHHH!!  What if we were to be absolutely silent?  What do you think we would hear?  I would like you to stop and think about this. I will then ask you to share your thoughts and I will record them on the chart."  

I take one or two ideas from each student but don't want to spend too much time with this section.  

"I am now going to read you a story called the Listening Walk by Paul Showers.  After I am done reading, I will ask you if there is anything else we could add to the chart."

I read the story aloud to the class.

"Why do you think we are focusing so much on things we might hear?  We are starting a new unit that will focus on sound and light waves. The first part of the unit will focus on sound waves and the second part will focus on light waves.  At the end of the lesson, we will come up with a definition for sound."

I want to make sure that the students understand the focus of our new unit.


20 minutes

You will need a copy of Our Class Walk for each student.  The students will also each need a clipboard and a pencil.  

"I would like each of you to take a copy of Our Class Walk, a clipboard, and a pencil.  We are now going to take a Walk around the school.  Your job will be to record the sounds that you hear on the recording sheet.  The sheet is set up so that if you hear the same sound twice, you can just put a tally mark for the number of times you hear it.  Why would it be important to be so quiet during our walk?"

I put an example on the recording sheet to model how the sheet should be used.

"When we get back to the room, we will gather as a class and discuss what you found."

I will lead the group around the building instead of letting them go off on their own.  I want them to be focused on hearing and recording sounds.




5 minutes

As the class returns to the room, I have them gather in a circle on the carpet with their recording sheets.  

"I would like to know what sounds you heard.  If they are sounds that we didn't record on the chart earlier, I will add them."

The purpose of this activity is to gain the perspective that sound is all around.  Later lessons will get into the idea that vibrating materials can make sound and that sound can make materials vibrate.   



10 minutes

To finish today's lesson, I will play the following video.  I will use this video to help the students come up with a working definition of sound.  The definition will be the first vocabulary word for this unit's vocabulary wall.  

"I want to play a video for you.  It will explain more about the concept of sound.  When the video is done, I will ask you to help me come up with a definition of sound." 

It is important that students use precise vocabulary words when writing about their science learning and thinking.  In order to accomplish this, I establish a working word wall that students can reference during the unit.