Moving Matter

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SWBAT prove that sound can make matter vibrate.

Big Idea

Today the students will learn how sound waves are a force that can move matter.

Setting the Stage

1 minutes

The students will start by meeting on the carpet to engage in today's activity.  The students will then work independently as they try two different activities that focus on sound waves and their ability to move mass.

You will notice that there is no elaborate section (5E approach) in this lesson.  This is one of several lessons that focus on the concept of sound waves.  Today's focus is to understand that waves exist even if they can't be seen.  

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

"Can you make water move with out touching it? Can you do the same with a ping pong ball with out touching it or blowing on it?Can you make salt dance without touching it?  Today you will try just that."

"Let's start by taking a look at this short video clip."

I am choosing to show this video to allow students to see how water can move and to eliminate anyone thinking that it just simply can't be done.


20 minutes

Advanced Preparation: You will need to lay out tuning forks, bowls of water, plastic cups, plastic wrap, rubber bands, salt, colored sugar, marbles.  You will need to set up the water and tuning forks in one section of the room and the other materials in the other.

"I would like you to take out your science notebooks.  Please set up today's entry.  The focus for today is moving matter.  If you think back to our force and motion unit, what is matter?"

I find it both important and beneficial to review words from previous units. This reminds them of previous learning and how the concepts can relate to each other.  

"You can rotate between the two stations today.  At the first one, you will tap the running fork in your hand or on the side of the table and then place it in the bowl.  You will then have to record what happen in your notebook."

"At the second station, your will have to cover a cup with plastic wrap.  You can use a rubber band to fasten it tightly.  You will then place some of the salt, sugar, or marbles on top of the plastic.  You will put your mouth near the cup and hum.  Your goals is to see if you can move any of the substances by humming."

As students are working, I circulate to make sure that they understand the tasks and are recording their findings in their science notebooks.  I had included two conversations that I had with groups (Moving mass & Moving mass 2)


10 minutes

I gather everyone on the carpet for science circle and have them bring their notebooks with them.

"Today you had two different tasks that involved sound/vibrations.  I want to know what you found out and why do you think it happened.  Who would like to start?"



5 minutes

I ask the students to end the lesson by grading their notebook entry using the Science Journal Scoring Rubric.  

It is important for students to grade themselves based on the set expectations and hold themselves accountable for their own work.