Exploring the world of sounds

Exploring the world of sounds

I can identify that sounds come from vibrations and create an instrument.

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Exploring the world of sounds

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This lesson will take about 60 minutes. Students will learn about the basics of sound, a form of energy that is made by vibrations. Students will explore different types of sounds that objects make. After exploration and a basic understanding of sound, students will design and engineer their own instruments. Please ensure students have a plan and then provide at least 15 minutes for building.


Next Generation Science Standards

Learning objective

Students will be able to identify that sounds come from vibrations and create an instrument that makes sounds.


The lesson opens with a KWL chart about sounds. Students will briefly discuss different types of energy, like sound, heat, and light.


They will learn more about sound and vibrations. A few different YouTube videos are embedded with different sounds. Next, the class will discuss pitch and volume. They will distinguish between sounds with loud and soft volumes and sounds with high and low pitches. Students will talk about how sound travels. After that, they will discuss the instruments they know.


After introducing the concepts of sound, students will create their own instruments. Students may work in partners, but working individually is preferred so they can bring their instrument home.

Students will first draw a plan of their instruments. Then, they will have about 15 minutes to build. After they are done building, they will be able to share their instruments will the class.


Review sound concepts with 5 true/false questions and 5 fill-in-the-blank questions.


Students will go back to the KWL chart and complete the last section. They will then compare the different sounds of clapping quickly and slowly. Last, they will turn and talk to a partner about another instrument they would build.

Instruction materials

Gather materials for instrument build. It is suggested to provide a class set of each material, even though students will only choose 5 items. Note that some items are bundled.

- 1 medium-sized plastic cups
- 5 rubber bands
- 1' long string
- 1'x1' wax paper
- 2 paper towel rolls
- 10 straws
- 1 empty tissue box
- scissors (enough for the whole class)
- masking tape (enough for the whole class)

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