Applied Science - Science and Math(5C)
Pre Lab

  • Researching background information for an experiment.
  • Designing an experiment.
  • research
  • sound
  • Internet
  • library
  • worksheet

Students learn to research on a topic.



Children always seem to have questions that many adults cannot answer.  Therefore, it is important to teach children the skills to learn more about a subject.  This activity uses "sound" as the vehicle to spark students' interest in this research.  Many students take the gift of hearing for granted.  Have students imagine a world without music, a voice, or what a bird sounds like.  Violins, flutes, and other instruments were designed to capture the beautiful sounds of nature.  Without sound, we cannot imitate sound.  Deaf people have trouble talking because they haven't heard the sounds.

Sound is a physical wave.  It actually vibrates through the air and then literally "knocks" on our ear drum.  We translate these signals into words that mean something.  Sound cannot be heard in a vacuum.  Living on a planet without air would mean a silent world.


  1. This activity inspires students to learn about sound and its components by conducting research at home or at the school library.  Have students spend time doing "research" as a group if your school is equipped with a library or internet access.  
  2. This is an opportunity to introduce students to research books such as reference books and science books.  For instance, "sound" can be located in several sections including physics, music, instruments, or senses.
  3. In the library, internet, or as a homework assignment, have students  research what sound is.  Use the enclosed worksheet to help students find out about sound.  After the research, discuss what students learned about sound.  You will be amazed at what they can find out from books or even an encyclopedia. 
  4. Students should write a paragraph similar to the example below.
    Blowing a flute, playing a drum, strumming a guitar, and hitting a gong will produce different types of sound.  Playing an instrument makes part of it vibrate rapidly back and forth.  The vibration of the instrument causes different types of waves to be transmitted to our ears.  The sound wave from each instrument makes its own kind of pressure changes in the air.  These vibrations are "translated" by the brain so that we can recognize which instrument is being played.

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