Lesson plan

Sound activities outdoors

Sound activities most suited to the outdoors, using outdoor materials, being quite loud or needing more space.
Science content
Biology: Sensing, Organ Systems (4, 5, 6)
Physics: Light and Sound (1)

See the sound lesson for a lesson of sound activities that are suited for indoors (more compact and mostly quieter).

Outdoor lesson:
Introduce the concept of sound with students making their own musical instrument: duck caller.
Help students figure out how the sound is made: the vibration of the string is transmitted to the cup, which vibrates molecules in the air. This vibration of air molecules travels through the air to our eardrum. In our ear the vibration is converted to a nerve signal that is sent to our brain, so we sense the vibration as a sound.
Note: if students are unable to keep their hands off their instrument during later activities, start instead with students making Laah sounds while touching their throat to feel the vibrations in their larynx, and move making the instrument until later.

Use slinky to model how sound vibrations travel: Sound Vibration Model.

Explore the pitch of sound with glockenspiel notes, correlating the length of a key with a note being higher or lower. Also shows that sound is a vibration.

Show on a ukelele or other musical instrument how pitch can be changed by changing the length of a string/tube. Discuss other instruments that students play and how the pitch changes in them.
Sing a class song using the instrument, students accompanying on their duck caller.

With a lot of space, make a string telephone, to explore how the vibrations can travel through string.

With older students, calculate the speed of sound, using a large blank wall.

For walking to or from a lesson in a park, or for younger students on site, the sounds in a box activity is fun.


other activities that could be added: Doppler effect

Grades taught
Gr 1
Gr 4
Gr 5