In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about hearing and listening to sounds. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Sound topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching About Sound
If possible, take your class outside to the playground or to a park. Have your students bring notebooks and pencils. Ask them to sit as quietly as they can and listen to their surroundings. You may want them to close their eyes to help them concentrate. What do they hear? Have them write their ideas down and categorize which sounds are loud and quiet, or which sounds have high or low pitches. Then have your students share their findings with the class.
Thank You, Maestro
Ask different musicians to visit the class and share their instruments. If possible have them play a short song that showcases the range of their instruments. How do their instruments make sound? What is the highest or lowest note they can play? What is the softest or loudest sound they can make with their instruments? Have your students discuss each instrument and its sounds. What instrument would they like to play? Why?
Divide the class into small groups and give each group several different lengths of string. Have two students hold the ends of one string and have another student pluck it. What do they see? What do they hear? Then have them repeat the activity using different lengths of string. What happens to the sound? What happens to the vibrations? Students can record their observations in a chart and share what they learned with the whole class.
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching About Sound
Take your child to a concert and listen to live music together. Many communities have free music programs appropriate for the whole family. Local colleges or universities often have chamber music ensembles or orchestras that play for free. After the show, discuss the music with your child. What instruments did he or she hear? Was the music loud or soft? What instruments had the highest or lowest pitch? How did the volume and pitch change during a song?
Day and Night Sounds
Some animals are active during the day, while other animals are active at dusk or at night. Take a walk with your child around the neighborhood once during the day and once at dusk or at night. What sounds does he or she hear? How are the sounds different during the day and at night? How do you think animals use sound? Discuss what you hear with your child and learn more by researching the Internet or visiting the library to learn more about animals in your neighborhood.