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Sound Theme Page

Below are the CLN "Theme Pages" which support the study of sound. CLN's theme pages are collections of useful Internet educational resources within a narrow curricular topic and contain links to two types of information. Students and teachers will find curricular resources (information, content...) to help them learn about this topic. In addition, there are links to instructional materials (lesson plans) which will help teachers provide instruction in this theme.

The Human Body's Senses: Hearing Theme Page

General Sound Resources

Here are a number of links to other Internet resources which contain information and/or other links related to the concepts of sound. Please read our disclaimer.

[The] Art of Science: Ben Franklin's Harmonica
Students build and play homemade musical instruments to learn how various materials produce different sounds.

Ask ERIC Lesson Plans: Physical Sciences
This link is to Ask Eric's index of physical science lesson plans. At least three (Sounds Like Fun, Understanding Sound, and Understanding Waves) deal with the concepts of sound but you'll have to scroll through the index to find them.

Bats: Creatures of the Night
This grade 2 unit has several lesson plans/activities that introduce the concepts of sound within a multidisciplinary unit on bats.

Demonstrations in Auditory Perception
For older students only, these multimedia demonstrations cover such topics as pitch perception, auditory scene analysis, and experiments with octave-related complex tones.

Encarta Lesson Collection: Physics
From the Encarta index of lesson plans, select "Science" and then "Physics" to find four lessons on sound: How Do Springy Things Vibrate (#861); How do Strings on Musical Instruments Vibrate? (#862); Using a Weak Sound to Make a Loud Sound (#866); and Hooke's Law, Vibrations, Mechanical Waves and Sound (#867). Access to these lessons was on the fifth page of the Physics collection of lessons when this site was reviewed.

Heat, Light, and Sound
This grade six science curriculum from Utah contains two units which explore the fundamentals of heat, light and sound.
  • Source Students compare the production of heat, light, and sound through 8 learning activities. Four are applicable to just a study of sound.
  • Movement Students learn about the characteristics and movement of heat, light, and sound through seven activities with two specifically on sound.

Music Inventions
Elizabeth Rexford, a teacher with over 30 years of experience, developed this award winning site in which grade 4-6 students use the Internet to learn how sound is produced and then apply this knowledge to design and make a musical instrument. Suggested hands-on sound experiments are provided.

Percussion, Kids and Stomp
Within this Performance Group's web site, there are two sets of activities and lessons to help elementary students learn about sound.

Physical Science Activity Manual
This Manual contains hands-on activities on sound that can be downloaded in either MAC (MS WORD) or Windows (Wordperfect) versions. The manual is neither a lab manual nor a series of lesson plans. Rather, it provides the teacher with background information on sound and a collection of student-centered activities which s/he can adapt to local conditions. This link is to the site's home page. You'll need to scroll down the menu to find the links which will allow you to download the Sound section of the manual.

Physical Science Lessons
The Southeastern Michigan Math-Science Learning Coalition offers over 200 lessons plans, organized by grade level. There are a number of elementary grade lessons on sound but you'll need to scroll through the list to find them.

Physics 620A: Sound
This site is the home page for a university course on physics designed to help teachers to learn about the nature and characteristics of sound. Included within the site are sample teacher activities that could be used as classroom demonstrations and sample teacher investigations that could be used as classroom labs.

Physics Classroom: Sound Waves and Music
This section of the Physics Classroom contains a tutorial on sound which consists of 5 lessons with 19 sublessons. Contents cover the nature of a sound wave, sound properties and their perception, behavior of sound waves, resonance and standing waves, and musical instruments. Lessons contain problems for students to check their knowledge and animated GIFs to teach concepts.

Physics Demonstrations: Sound
These nine demonstrations appropriate for high school students explore: the effects of breathing helium; the Dopler effect; the sound of a bell in a vaccum; , and the effect of intense sound waves on a beaker.

Reeko's Mad Scientist Lab: Sound
There are at least three science experiments suitable for the home or classroom on sound at this site. The three that were on the site when it was reviewed are intended for young children and address the principles of sound, how sound waves are formed, and how to make a homemade hearing aid.

Smile Program Physics Index
Teachers participating in the SMILE (Science and Mathematics Initiative for Learning Enhancement) summer session programs each create a single concept lesson plan. This database has at least 10 lesson plans on sound in their section on Waves, Sound, and Optics. Caution: Since there is a wide number of authors who have contributed to the database, the detail and quality of the lesson plans will vary.

Sound: A Unit and Lesson Plans
Nine lessons and topics tied to learning objectives for intermediate strudents.

Sound is Energy
This ThinkQuest Junior site looks at sound within the context of an orchestra. Part of the site focuses on musical instruments and the sounds that they make. However, there's also a section which discusses the principles of sound (from an instrumental perspective). Student activities are provided to demonstrate some of the concepts.

[The] Soundry
"The Soundry is an exciting, interactive, and educational web site about sound. Covering everything from the most basic concepts of what sound actually is to the specifics of how humans perceive it, The Soundry aims to promote enthusiasm and knowledge of sound."

Sound Solution
This interdisciplinary teaching unit for senior high school students looks at these questions: How does sound affect a person's life? How is sound produced, recorded, and controlled? When is sound noise? and, What is it like to live in a silent world?

Third Grade - Science - Overview
In these six lesson plans, grade three teachers have students explore the concepts of sound, build a sound wave detector, construct and test a cup-and-string sound carrier, and create string, percussion and wind instruments for a class orchestra.

Webs, Wires, Waves: The Science and Technology of Communication
This National Science Foundation website was designed to help children explore and understand the ways we communicate with one another. There are six units - each containing hands on explorations - which progress in sequence from simple forms of communication towards complex technological forms. In unit three, students (ages 7-14) learn about sound by building a rudimentary telephone and speaker.

Whelmers are "science activities that will catch the eye and mind of even the most indifferent student!" At least three whelmers (#10, #11, and #67) on this page have student activities that might be useful within a unit on sound.

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Note: The sites listed above will serve as a source of curricular content in Sound. For other resources in Science (e.g., curricular content in Earth Science, General Science, Life Science, or Physical Science), or for lesson plans and theme pages, click the "previous screen" button below. Or, click here if you wish to return directly to the CLN menu which will give you access to educational resources in all of our subjects.

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