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TEKS Objective

The student is expected to differentiate among forms of energy, including mechanical, sound, electrical, light, and heat/thermal.

Essential Understanding

The student knows that energy exists in many forms and can be observed in cycles, patterns, and systems.

Science Background

A Sound Education: K8 Science (video) - Overview of the physical science of sound by Dr. Greg Vogt.

A Sound Education
by Greg Vogt, BioEd Online's YouTube Channel,

Wacky Waves: K8 Science (video) - Dr. Greg Vogt uses springs and a slinky to demonstrate how sound is carried in waves.  (For instructions to all activities shown on the video, visit the Extensions section at the bottom of this page.)

Wacky Waves
by Greg Vogt, BioEd Online's YouTube Channel,

Introduction to Energy: The NEED Project (PDF) - Explains different energy sources and the usage levels for various energy sources in the United States.

Introduction to Energy
The NEED Project,

Signature Lesson

The Phenomenon of Sound: Waves (website) - Students will experience sound energy as compression waves through a series of investigations.

The Phenomenon of Sound

Supporting Lessons

Sensational Sound: Science NetLinks (website) - Students build a “Hanger Clanger” to explore the movement of sound though solids and gases.

Sensational Sound
Science NetLinks,

The Phenomenon of Sound, Waves: Discovery Education (website) - Students explore sound in a variety of conditions. At the end of the lesson, students will understand that sound is a form of energy, produced by vibrations, that travels in waves.

The Phenomenon of Sound, Waves

Elaboration Lessons and Extensions

Slink Around: K8Science (PDF) - Simple activity that demonstrates how sound energy is transmitted along a spring.

Slink Around
K8 Science,

Resonate! K8Science (PDF) - Demonstrations show how sound energy is transferred with the resonance.

K8 Science,

Washtub Bass: K8Science (PDF) – Build an instrument to use with your class, and explore vibration and pitch.

Washtub Bass
K8 Science,

Soup Can Phone: K8Science (PDF) – Vibrations along a taut string carry sound waves, as evidenced by soap can phones.

Soup Can Phone
K8 Science,

Assessment Ideas

Have students explore sound pitch by creating and “playing” their own homemade instruments.  

Literature Connections

The Wizard of Sound, Mitchell, B. (ISBN: 978-0876144459)

Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear? Martin, Bill (ISBN-13: 978-0312513467)

Simple First Sounds: Noisy Trucks. Priddy, Roger (ISBN-13: 978-0312509248)

Sound. Stille, Darlene (ISBN-13: 978-0756509781)

Related Science TEKS

(4.4A) Tools for Collecting and Analyzing Information
The student is expected to collect, record, and analyze information using tools, including calculators, microscopes, cameras, computers, hand lenses, metric rulers, Celsius thermometers, mirrors, spring scales, pan balances, triple beam balances, graduated cylinders, beakers, hot plates, meter sticks, compasses, magnets, collecting nets, and notebooks; timing devices, including clocks and stopwatches; and materials to support observation of habitats of organisms such as terrariums and aquariums.

(4.6B) Conductors and Insulators
The student is expected to differentiate between conductors and insulators.

4.6C) Flow of Electricity in Circuits
The student is expected to demonstrate that electricity travels in a closed path, creating an electrical circuit, and explore an electromagnetic field.

Related Math TEKS

4.14D  The student is expected to use tools such as real objects, manipulatives, and technology to solve problems.

4.16B   The student is expected to justify why an answer is reasonable and explain the solution process.

Additional Resources

Your Ears: Kids Health (website) - This interactive article shows the structure of our ears and explains how humans hear sound.

Your Ears
Kids Health,

Glass Xylophone: PBS Kids (website) - Make a “xylophone” from drinking glasses filled with different quantities of water and use it to explore sound energy, pitch and related concepts.

Glass Xylophone
PBS Kids,

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