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Lesson Plan: Learn How Sound is Created

Subject:  Science

Grade: 4

Lesson Objective: To learn how sound is created

Next Gen Science Standard:  4-PS4-1. Develop a model of waves to describe patterns in terms of amplitude and wavelength and that waves can cause objects to move.

Materials Needed:

  • Fork
  • Piece of wood
  • Metal pan



  • What sounds do you hear during your day?  (Allow the students to answer.)



  • You just told me about many of the different sounds that you hear.
  • Today, we are going to learn about how sound is created.
  • Sound is created when something vibrates.
  • That vibration makes sound waves that go back and forth.
  • The sound waves move back and forth through air, water or wherever the sound was made.
  • Sound has to travel through a solid, liquid or gas for us to be able to hear it.
  • There are many different types of sounds, some are high and low.  The way a sound sounds is called pitch.
  • The pitch of a sound changes depending on how fast the object vibrates.
  • I am going to show you what I mean with this metal fork.
  • If I hit this fork on wood (hit the fork against the wood), it doesn’t make much of a sound because the wood does not make the fork vibrate very much.
  • If I hit this fork on a metal pan (hit the fork against the metal pan), it makes a lot of noise because the pan makes the fork vibrate a lot.
  • You can hear the different sounds or pitches that the fork had.
  • Sound that comes out of us also comes out in different pitches.  We have what are called vocal cords.  When we speak or sing, we push air across our vocal cords.
  • They vibrate and that is how we make sound.
  • When sound is created, sound waves are made.
  • The sound waves travel out from whatever is making the noise the same way that light travels away from the light source.
  • Think about a light bulb.  When it is on, the light comes from the light bulb and travels out.  This is the same with sound.
  • Last class you made different sounds.  When you were making those sounds, the sound waves moved away from what you were using.  That is how other people could hear your sounds.
  • Sound has to have something to travel through, like air, water, glass or metal.
  • A sound wave is called a longitudinal wave because of the way that it moves.  (Hold up the diagram).
  • Sound waves do not move like waves in the ocean.  As sound waves move, they make the air bunch together in some places and spread out in others.
  • Sound pushes and pulls the air back and forth.  Sound waves can also be called compression waves.
  • Air vibrates along the same direction that the sound wave travels.
  • Sound waves move at different speeds depending on what the sound waves are moving through.

  • Now, you are going to take out your notebooks and write a few sentences about sound.
  • I want you to think about what you have learned about how sound is created and how sound travels.
  • Then, you are going to draw a diagram showing how sound waves move.
  • Does anyone have any questions?

Allow about 10 minutes for the students to write a summary about sound.



  • Who would like to share your diagram of sound waves and what you wrote?  (Allow the students to answer and share.)


Written by Kimberly Greacen, Education World® Contributing Writer

Kimberly is an educator with extensive experience in curriculum writing and developing instructional materials to align with Common Core State Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy.

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