Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What Causes Sound?


SOUND is a form of ENERGY.

Sound is produced when energy causes VIBRATIONS (rapid back and forth motion).
Energy is the source of all vibrations.

  • music (from CD, radio, stereo, etc.)
  • drum (store bought or home made: (old coffee or other round can covered with wrapping paper, etc.)
  • cheerios or paper clips
  • empty shoe box
  • rubber band (elastic)
  • notebook
  • pencil or pen


  • Play some music for the children.
  • Ask the children if they know what causes sound and how sound energy gets from the source (CD, radio, etc.) to our ears so that we can hear it.
  • Tell the children that today we are going to learn what causes sound. 

    • Have the students place some cheerios or small paper clips on the drum. Have them PREDICT what they think will happen when they tap on the drum. Then have them OBSERVE carefully as they tap on the drum several times. What did they hear? What did they see?

    • Place a rubber band (elastic) around an empty shoe box. Have the students PREDICT what they think will happen if they snap the rubber band. Have the students snap the band and OBSERVE what happens. What did they hear? What did they see?
    • What happens if they grasp the rubber band and stop the vibration; will the sound stop?
    • Have the students place two fingers on their larynx (voice box) and say "ahhh". What did they hear? What did they feel?

    • Discuss the fact that in all the activities sounds are produced when energy causes a medium (object) to VIBRATE (move back and forth quickly).
    • Students could see the results of the vibrations with the drum and rubber band and feel the vibrations when they touched their larynx. When you strike a drum or snap a rubber band, you are using energy. This energy causes the top of the drum and rubber band to vibrate  (move back and forth quickly). The vibrations cause the sound.  When the top of the drum or rubber band stops moving the sound stops.When they speak or sing their throat vibrates.    
    • Have children sketch pictures in their notebooks of today's activities.

    • Here is a video and song for kids about Vibrations from Learning Games for Kids.
    Click Here: Vibration Song

    clipart by www,


      1. All kids love making noise so I am sure they would all love this experiment!

      2. As a homeschool mom, I'm glad to have found your blog! Thanks for sharing these great ideas on NOBH and thanks for linking up!

      3. My daughter loves to put her hand on her larynx and feel it vibrate. I think she was taught this at church, not sure why though.

        thanks for linking up to Science Sunday (even if I am belated in getting around to commenting).



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