Energy and Its Forms

Creating Sound

energy and its forms

Duration: 60 minutes

Notes / Activity

  • 1-PS4-1. Plan and conduct investigations (Tuning fork to provide evidence that vibrating materials can make sound and that sound can make materials vibrate).  

By the end of this lesson, the student should able to:

  • Explain that sound is produced when an object vibrates.
  • Identifying examples of objects that vibrates (e.g. the tuning fork).
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Lesson Plan

Explore 1

Duration: 10 min

Prepare a slinky before lesson:

  • Ask the students if they know how sound is produced.
  • Ask students to feel their throat while they hum a song.

“What did you feel as you touched your throat?” (“The throat vibrates.”)

“How is sound produced?” (Sound is produced when objects vibrate.)


Slinky demonstration:

  • Hold up a slinky and pass it around. 
  • Ask students if they can relate the slinky to the sound/music they hear. 
  • Have two volunteers stretch the slinky out on the table as far as they can.
  • Get a student from one end to pluck the slinky and elicit from students:

“What did you observe?”

“Do the two ends of the slinky move toward each other?”

“What is moving from one end of the slinky to the other?” 

Explore 2

Duration: 30 min

  • Set up two learning stations where students can work in groups to carry out two different activities at the same time. Assign two big groups of students to the stations respectively to conduct their investigations. After they have completed one station, they will swap and move to the other station. 
  • Prepare the following materials before the lesson:


Station 1: 

  • 2-3 mallets
  • 2 or 3 tuning forks (depending on availability)
  • 2 plastic containers (half filled with water)
  • clot/rag

Station 2: 

  • Toilet roll tubes (depends on the number of students or if they are working in pairs/groups) 
  • Waxed paper (all cut into 4x4 squares)
  • Rubber bands
  • Crayons
  • 3 materials: styrofoam, aluminum, cardboard
  • Beaker of water
  • Kettle (to boil water)
  • Thermometer
  • Stopwatch

Station 1: Vibrate with the tuning fork

  • Distribute worksheet to students (Filename: Let’s Explore Worksheet).
    Follow the instructions in the worksheet to carry out the activity.
  • Elicit from students before they carry out the experiment:

Make a prediction on what will happen if you hit the tuning fork?

What happens if you lower the tuning fork into a container of water? 

  • Have students carry out the investigation and get them to record their observations in their worksheet. 


Station 2: DIY Kazoo

  • Follow the instructions in the worksheet to make the kazoo. Students will experiment with different kinds of sounds to see what causes the loudest buzzing after they have constructed their kazoos. 
  • Record their observations and date in their worksheet.


Duration: 15 min

  • Students in their groups will explain their findings from the activities carried out during the Explore phase and share with the class. 
  • Have students articulate and explain that sound is produced when an object vibrates. 
  • Elicit from students: 

What happens when you hit the tuning fork?

What happens when you lower the tuning fork into the container of water?

What causes the water to splash?

How is the sound made from the kazoo?

What produced the buzzing sounds?

  • For example in station 1, when the tuning fork vibrates, sound is created and it is transferred to the water causing the water to splash. 
  • In station 2: It was observed that when the students play the kazoo, the sound travels throughout the tube. Sound hits the membrane (waxed paper) so that it vibrates to produce buzzing sounds.

Explain 2

Duration: 5 min

  • Launch a Learning Story to have students explore how sound is produced. 
  • Tell the students that sound is made up of vibrations or sound waves.
  • Ask the students:

“Where do sound waves travel?” (“Sound waves travel through air, water, or solid objects as vibrations.”)


  • Explain that the speaker produces sound which vibrates. This makes the air vibrate as well, producing sound waves.

“What happens when the sound waves hit the bowl?” (“The bowl vibrates.”)

“What happens as the bowl vibrates?” (“It makes the sprinkles move.”)