Sound Unit for 1st Grade

Finding a way to sift through and make sense of the Next Gen Science Standards can be a challenge to say the least! :)  But there is some good content in there with lots of opportunity for hands on learning and integration into the literacy block--which is my favorite way to teach science and social studies!

Here's a look at my newest Next Gen Science Unit on Sound as well as links to all of the resources I use for this unit!
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Week 1: What Is Sound?

This unit starts off with lots of exploration of sounds around us.  We chart sounds we hear...
...and then go on a sound walk to record sounds around us.

Then, we explore how to describe sounds (through pitch and volume) with sound exploration stations.  Find most of the instruments I used HERE.  Not included in this pack are drums, a xylophone, or a guitar (you will need two additional instruments besides the big pack.  You can also use what you already have or borrow from your music teacher!

Week 2: How Do We Hear Sound?

During this second week, we research how our ear works to help us hear and sound travel.  Then, we test it out with our telephone cups experiment which you can see in detail here.

We also learn all of the academic vocabulary for sound this week.  We play Find Your Partner with our vocab cards and definitions.  And then we practice independently or during stations with our sound vocab crossword puzzles and word finds.

Week 3: How Do We Use Sound?

The third week our focus is using sound to communicate.  We experiment with making sounds with our vocal cords using the Voice Memo app for iPad...

Then, we brainstorm sounds we make with a carousel activity and anchor chart.

This week we also study what life would be like without sound by researching Helen Keller and learning sign language! 

Week 4: STEM Connection, DIY Musical Instruments

The last week is all about using our new knowledge about sound for our STEM challenge!  We use our invent me anchor chart to learn the steps of building something new.

Then, we work on a step or two each day.  I have full color slides for each step with directions, materials and guiding questions or I can statements for each.  We put up the slide for the day and talk about our goals and then get to building!

The materials we used are already included on the "think" and "plan" slides, but I have also included templates for these without the materials so you can add your own!  Here are the materials we used to build our instruments:
*toilet paper rolls

Since I am temporarily out of the classroom right now, I built instruments with my 4 year old at home and he absolutely LOVED this!  He made 3 different ones...all his ideas!  All I did was set out all of his material choices and have him brainstorm his ideas...
{yes, we did this in our pajamas...everything is better that way, right?? :)}

He made a drum first which was super easy to make.  After this instrument and each one, I asked him to show me how his instrument makes sounds.

Then, he made a guitar...probably because Daddy plays the guitar at church and this boy loves his daddy!  When I asked him to show me how it makes sound, he told me, "Well, it just kinda makes this clicking sound and that's all because I can't make it do notes like Daddy's!"  Bless his sweet heart! :)

And this is his shaker!



Trade Book Resources & Literacy Connections

Sound (Ways Into Science)
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?
Sounds All Around
A Picture Book of Helen Keller

Find the sound unit here!


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