Sound Vibrations and Resonance Lesson Plan


Vocabulary Words:

Sound, Vibrations, Frequency, Pitch, Tension, Volume, Amplitude, Frequency, Wavelength, Pitch, Vibration, Resonance, Longitudinal

Goals and Aim

1. Learn ow tension affects pitch.
2. Learn how instruments use tension to create pitch.
3. Learn how to manipulate pitch using tension.
4. The learner will conduct investigations and use appropriate technology to build an understanding of the concepts of sound.


1. To introduce the idea of Resonance
2. To control a class for a demonstration/ half a lesson
3. Students will learn to explain the dynamics of the pitch of a sound and its rate of vibration from the source. They will also factor how that affects pitch.


Science materials from Good Vibrations Unit kits, document camera, Balloons, CD player with a variety of music, Soundbox with sub, strobe, amp, frequency generator, stemmed glass, ping pong balls


A. Introduction-

1. 5 min. On doc camera, write definition of Pitch, Frequency, Kalimba, Xylophone, and Tension for students to copy in notebooks.
2. 2 min. On doc camera, display pre-observation inquiries asking about the factors of pitch and facilitate class discussion.
3. 1 min. Have 2 students pull on 1 student standing in middle= TENSION= force of pull on opposite sides
4. Students will be able to see vibrations using a balloon.

Whiteboards. Questions to recall knowledge about sound.
Draw a wave. Label it's amplitude and wavelength.

B. Development-

1. 1 min. Show equipment.
2. 3 min. Explain how to set up/use equipment.
3. Choose STARTER for each group. Role is to ensure everyone gets to try equipment.
4. 1 min. Introduce 2 student observation sheets and distribute.
5. I distribute one miniactivity. 10-15 min later, I distribute the second.

Give each student a balloon. Play different music so the students can feel the vibrations using the balloon. Questions students as to who can feel the vibrations and how well. Try different volumes and see if that makes a difference for the children. Ask them to draw a conclusion about vibrations and volume.

Version 2: Begin with questions, 'How are sounds made?' If unsure, get the pupils to hum and ask what they feel. Vibrations is the key answer 'What mediums can sound travel through?'
Begin demonstration of singing stemmed glass explaining things can vibrate. Explain you can see these vibrations. Set up the experiment with a strobe. Tune into the resonant frequency at 641Hz. Show the the class the slow motion vibrations explaining that this is the key frequency, the 'resonant' frequency. Increase/decrease the frequency to show it's peak frequency. Show how amplitude affects it. Make the glass break.

C. Practice-

1. 10-15 min. STARTERS start miniactivities. RECORD observations on appropriate observation sheet.
2. 10-15 min. I distribute second miniactivity equipment. They RECORD observation on second observation sheet.
3. End. Return to desks. Share observations/ pose processing questions.

Allow the children to move around the room while the music is playing to feel the different vibrations. They can also talk to the balloons and feel the vibrations in the balloons.

Version 2:

Allow pupils to have a go at making the stemmed glass sing.

D. Independent Practice-

1. Distribute STUDENT RESPONSE SHEET for individual homework.
2.Have students write a summary of their observations.

E. Accommodations (Differentiated Instruction)-

1. Accelerated Learners: Students draw original instrument that makes high pitch or low pitch. An instrument that does not yet exist. Label/write factors that affect the pitch.
2. Sight Impaired: Verbal presentation/ explanations, provide manipulative tools to touch.
3. Hearing Impaired: Doc camera projection, provide written handouts
4. Learning Disability: I walk about & support students struggling, students receive extra support from working in groups.
5. Students who have a more difficult time writing can illustrate or write less. Students who want a challenge: Did the vibrations feel any different when the pitch changed?

F. Checking for understanding-

1. I'm using the STUDENT RESPONSE SHEET as homework.
2. I can use inquiries for academic feedback to check for understanding at the intro of the following Science lesson.
3. Students will share summaries with partners, then share with class.

G. Closure-

1. Students place observations in blue folders and clear desk.
2. Allow time to ask questions about the homework.
3. Students will use mix pair share to tell what they learned about vibrations and volume.


1. Measure of behavior (How many disruptions)
2. How interested
3. Were there many questions?
4. How successful was the plenary? (Could they answer the questions easily)
5. Evaluation will be teacher observation and teacher reading students' summaries.


Version 1 and 2 of the lesson went well with different class. I feel that version 2 of the lesson is more for a very hands on group of students. Version 1 is more for your cerebral student groups.