We just finished a unit exploring light and sound. If you would like to read about the light inquiry, you can do so here. Today, I wanted to share with you some of the fun activities that we completed to help us understand sound!
When my students walked into the classroom the first day of our unit, I had set up a counter of instruments for my students to explore. (I asked my parents and our music teacher a few weeks in advance if they had any instruments that we could borrow!) We ended up getting a TON of really fun instruments: African drums, percussion frogs, maracas, recorders, singing bowls, a glockenspiel, and more! These definitely peaked their interests!
Then, we read the book, “Sounds All Around.”
http://amzn.to/1RIqse6 (affiliate link)
This was the perfect book to captivate my students’ interests and to teach us a few new vocabulary words.
That afternoon, my students happily explored the instruments trying to figure out how they were making sounds!
The next day we dug a little deeper into the unit and created a few instruments. One of my students had discovered during our light inquiry that our rainbow spectrum also made sound. We worked together to turn it into a water xylophone. My students practiced making songs with it!
We also created straw kazoos! This activity was beyond hysterical. I wish I took a video to show y’all because the kids had a BLAST doing this. For the activity you simply need a straw for every child and scissors.
Have your students bite down on the end of the straw and cut it so the end makes a v. (This creates a reed.)
Then have them blow into their straws.
It creates a sound that is so very funny. My students were beyond excited to make songs and music with these instruments.
Once they got the hang of it, they experimented with cutting the straw shorter, which changed the pitch of the sound! They loved this!!
The next day we watched part of a video on youtube that taught us about the different types of instruments in an orchestra.
Afterwards, we talked about the different ways that you can play instruments and labeled our tables with words such as “shake,” “blow,” “strum,” “strike,” etc. My students then had to work together to sort all of our classroom instruments.
That afternoon we also worked on body control using sound. I played the song “Across The Bridge” by Greg and Steve and set up a balance beam around my classroom carpet. I used our classroom blocks to do this and challenged my students to walk around the bridge without falling. This was a HUGE hit!
Finally, no unit on sound would be complete without creating a classroom band and having a dance party. 🙂 We had a blast exploring sound! I hope that you can incorporate some of these activities into your classroom!
If you would like the written out lesson plans, activities, and printables, I created a pack entitled “Light and Sound” which is available in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store or here on my blog! Click HERE to get it!