A lesson and worksheet about how sound is created and how it travels.
• Students will be able to state that sounds are created when objects vibrate.
• Students will be able to describe various types of vibrations that create sounds.
• Students will be able to state that sound travels in waves.
• Students will be able to define the term vacuum and state why there is no sound in a vacuum.
5th Grade - 6th Grade - 7th Grade
Print the reading comprehension worksheet passage and questions (see below).
Students should read the passage silently, then answer the questions. Teachers may also use the text as part of a classroom lesson plan.
Sound is produced by vibrations traveling through matter. In order for something to make a sound, it must vibrate. Often the vibrations that cause a sound are too fast to see. For example, when a baseball smacks the catcher's glove, you will hear a sound, but you will not be able to notice the vibration of the catcher's glove. Sometimes, you can see the vibrations that create sound. For example, when a musician plucks the string of a harp, she can see the string moving. By plucking the string, the musician provides the energy needed to cause the vibration, which in turn creates the sound. Guitars, violins and other string instruments create sound in the same way.
Instruments make sounds in other ways as well. Some, like drums and tambourines, have a surface that vibrates to produce sound. Others, known as wind instruments (trumpets and horns, for example), produce sounds by causing the air to vibrate. Still others (like flutes and clarinets) have reeds in them that vibrate. When you speak or sing, your vocal cords vibrate to create sound. You can feel this vibration if you put your fingers against your throat while you are speaking or singing.
Print this printable worksheet for this lesson: