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  • Angie O'Malley


First grade students have been learning all about sound! With the help of STEMscopes Curriculum, Mystery Science, Exploratorium Science Snacks, and supplements I've created, we are off to a great start!

We started by discussing and drawing objects that make sound. We then learned that vibrations cause sound. We practiced this by plucking a rubber band that was stretched across a cup. We also watched a video on Mystery Science of a guitar being played up close so we could see the strings vibrate.

Next, students participated in sound stations around the room. Students dipped tuning forks into water to see the water splash from the vibrations, they played with various instruments borrowed from our music teacher, and watched sand dance on plate that was resting on a speaker.

The following lab, students made bee buzzers from a tutorial provided by the Exploratorium Science Snacks. This was a great project because students learned what amplify means and could see the rubber band vibrating against the notecard. We tested the design with a notecard and without to notice how it amplifies the sound.

The next week students explored two apps, Tune Train and GarageBand. We were able to discuss pitch, loud, quiet, complex, and simple sounds. Students also were able to virtually play instruments on GarageBand they may not otherwise have access to, like the Bass and Kick Drum.

This week, students learned about instrument families. We watched this video clip on YouTube. Next, students drew out plans for their own instrument they will be creating prototypes of next week. Students labeled what family their instrument belonged in, made sure they had a vibrating part that would produce sound, and listed the materials they would need (students who were finished illustrating were encouraged to use scientific labels to point out materials and parts). Next week we will start creating!

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