Week Fifty-Four: STEAM Storytime: Sound!


February 4, 2016 by libraryheather

Program Title: STEAM Storytime: Sound!sound3

Target Age Range: Ages 3-6 with a caregiver

Program Length: 60 minutes

Brief Description:
Half-storytime, half-lab in which we explore sound and how it is made.

-Paper plates (2 per child)
-Dried beans (a small amount per child)
-1/4-cup measuring cups
-Masking tape
-Washable markers
Optional: Stickers to decorate the paper plate tambourines
-Non-wax paper cups (2 per child)
-Pieces of string (approximately 6-9′ in length–1 per child)
-Jumbo paper clips (2 per child)

Optional: 2 sets of Giant Pipe Builders or enough PVC pipes to make a structure upon which you can hang instruments (photo on the right). If you do this, you will also need twine and masking tape. Instead, you could just lay instruments out on tables for a fuss-free instrument petting zoo experience.
-An assortment of donated percussion instruments (e.g. maracas, cowbells, triangles, rain sticks, etc)
-5 identical water glasses (real glass)
-Pencils or dowels
-Large glass bowl
-An additional cup
-Felt board items depicting animals (or other things) that make sound
-Felt board
-Computer connected to a projector
-CD player
-Mobile device capable of having an app installed
-Sound effects app
-Cardboard partition (or some other sort of visual barrier)
“Learning Basic Skills Through Music: Vocabulary” – Hap Palmer (CD)
“Be Quiet, Mike!” – Leslie Patricelli
“Squeak! Rumble! Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!: A Sonic Adventure” – Wynton Marsalis
“Sound: Loud, Soft, High, Low” – Natalie M. Rosinsky

Cost: $ 0-50

Advanced Preparation:
-Ask your coworkers to donate their percussion instruments for use in this program.

-Use a sharpened pencil to poke a hole in the middle of the bottom of each cup. Widen the holes just enough to allow the string you will use to pass through easily (but not TOO wide!).

-Cut 6-9′ lengths of string (one per child).

-Make a model paper cup telephone and test it out to show parents how it works.

-Make a model paper tambourine.

-Make any necessary signage for the experiment/craft stations.

-We like to make a powerpoint that includes the lyrics of all the songs and rhymes we do, so that parents can sing along.

-If you’re making a structure out of PVC pipes to hang up instruments (picture below), we recommend doing a trial run and taking a picture so that setup is easier just before storytime.

-If you’re making a structure out of PVC pipes to hang up instruments, you should give yourself as much time as possible to set it up and hang up all the instruments on the day of the storytime. It was surprisingly labor intensive!


Program Outline:
1. Welcome and introductions.

2. Song: The More That We Learn Science (to the tune of “The More We Get Together”)

The more that we learn science,
Learn science, learn science,
The more that we learn science,
The happier we’ll be.
We’ll know things, and do things,
And explore many new things,
The more that we learn science,
The happier we’ll be.

3. Brainstorm: This is a program where I’m going to need a lot of help. ….Are you guys good at being noisy? Oh, thank goodness! I am going to need your help making a lot of noise today, because we’re going to be talking about SOUND! So, let’s all shout: HOORAY together. Louder! Even louder! Now quieter. Now whisper. Great job! When we talk or sing or clap our hands, we’re making sound. What else makes sound? How do we hear sounds? WHY do we hear sounds in our ears? Let’s read this book and find out.

4. Nonfiction Book: “Loud, Soft, High, Low: Sound” – Natalie M. Rosinsky

5. Song: Did You Ever Hear a Bell Ring? (to the tune of “Have You Ever Seen a Lassie?,” modified a bit from MRCPL.org)

Did you ever hear a bell ring,
a bell ring, a bell ring?
Did you ever hear a bell ring,
ding dong, ding, ding, dong.

Did you ever hear the wind blow,
the wind blow, the wind blow?
Did you ever hear the wind blow,
Whoo whoo, whoo, whoo, whoo.

Did you ever hear a clock tick,
a clock tick, a clock tick?

Did you ever hear a clock tick,
tick tock, tick, tick, tock.

Did you ever hear a car horn,
a car horn, a car horn,
Did you ever hear a car horn,
beep beep, honk, honk, beep.

6. Flannel/Action Rhyme: What Noise Do I Make?sound12

Clap, stomp!
Clap, clap, shake!
Can you make 
the noise that I make?

Repeat this verse before putting up each flannel item (e.g. horse, cow, truck, etc). Prompt the children to make the noises.

7. Action Song: “Listen & Do” – Hap Palmer

8. Poem: “Sound Poem” – from Mr. R’s World of Math and Science

While reading this poem, we banged on and shook a half-moon shaped tambourine for emphasis. It was very noisy. The kids thoroughly enjoyed it.

9. Fiction Book: “Squeak, Rumble, Whomp, Whomp, Whomp!” – Wynton Marsalis

10. Activity: Sound Guessing Game (see Special Instructions and Procedures for more information; the basic idea came from Twiggle Magazine and PreKinders)

11. Song: Oh, Do You Hear? (to the tune of “Do You Know the Muffin Man?,” from Poudre River Public Library)

Oh, do you hear the duck go quack,
the duck go quack, the duck go quack?
Oh, do you hear the duck go quack?
That’s how he talks to me.

Oh, do you hear the cat go meow,
the cat go meow, the cat go meow?
Oh, do you hear the cat go meow?
That’s how she talks to me.

Oh, do you hear the hen go cluck,
the hen go cluck, the hen go cluck?
Oh, do you hear the hen go cluck?
That’s how she talks to me.

Oh, do you hear the pig go oink,
the pig go oink, the pig go oink?
Oh, do you hear the pig go oink?
That’s how he talks to me.

Oh, do you hear the dog go woof,
the dog go woof, the dog go woof?
Oh, do you hear the dog go woof?
That’s how he talks to me.

Since we do STEAM Storytimes with two staff members, one of us sang the song and the other made animal sounds after its noise was named in each stanza. Good for comedic relief!

11. Fiction Book: “Be Quiet, Mike!” – Leslie Patricelli

12. Lab Time: (see Special Instructions and Procedures)
Four Stations:
-Make a Telephone
-Make a Tambourine
-Instrument Petting Zoo
-Sound Experiments

Handouts: None

Special Instructions and Procedures:
Sound Guessing Game:
For this game, we built a cardboard partition that was just big enough for an adult to crouch behind. We said we would make a noise and they would have tell us what the noise was without seeing the noise be made. We began with things like coughing, clapping, and snapping–but quickly became devious. With the help of a free Sound Effects app (and an iPad that had been hidden behind the partition the entire time), we played sounds like: vacuum, cuckoo clock, horse, frog, elephant, airplane, helicopter, car horn, turkey, doorbell, lawnmower, and a toilet flushing. Naturally, we played up the joke of having all of those things behind the little partition with us.


Make a Telephone:
This well-known craft came from Kidspot. We used non-wax cups so that kids could decorate the outside of their phones, but none really did. We poked the holes and cut lengths of string in advance, but left the rest of the assembly up to the parents. Interestingly, none of us had ever made a string & cup telephone before, so we really didn’t think it would work. IT TOTALLY WORKS! The one and only trick is to hold the string perfectly straight and taut. It was great to see kids faces light up as it worked for them. We also included a sign that explained why and how the string telephone works.


Make a Tambourine:
Our tambourine station had simple written instructions for parents to follow (basically: decorate 2 plates with markers and/or stickers, put a small amount of beans in the bottom of one plate, cover with the other plate, tape up the sides–shake, shake, shake!). The addition of stickers to the tambourine station is due to Knowledge Matters, whose fabulous post more or less inspired all the activities for this program.


Instrument Petting Zoo:
Again, the inspiration for this station is due entirely to this post from Knowledge Matters. We used 2 sets of Giant Pipe Builders that we own for our Hands-On Science Museum to create a much smaller version of their “Sound Garden.” But, like them, we used twine and masking tape to hang percussion instruments for the children to play with. Because we had so many coworkers generously donate their percussion instruments for this program, we put the instruments that wouldn’t fit on a long table (which you could do in lieu of a structure–the items on the table were handled just as much as the ones on the structure). This was, by far and away, the most popular station.


Sound Experiments
This station had two activities with water: one with water glasses, and one with a bowl full of water and eyedroppers. The glasses of water experiment from Science Kids was done with 5 glasses in 1/4-cup increments. It demonstrated exactly what it was supposed to, but it couldn’t really be heard over all the percussion instruments! The other experiment–again!–was from this post by Knowledge Matters. We noticed a couple kids playing with the eye droppers to make waves, but it had the least traffic of all the stations. Signs were on the table for both activities to help parents guide their children.


Resources Used:
Twiggle Magazine: Sense of Sound Lesson

Explain That Stuff: Sound

DK Find Out: How are Sounds Created?

Mr. R’s World of Math and Science: Sound Poem

Science Kids: Making Music with Water

Kidspot: Make a String Telephone

Ducksters: Basics of Sound

Knowledge Matters: Preschool Science and Math: Sound Investigations

PreKinders: Sound Games: Teach the Sense of Sound

MRCPL.org: Story Time Starter: Five Senses

Poudre River Public Library District: That Makes Sense

DK Find Out: Pitch

Additional Resources:
Abby the Librarian: Preschool Lab: Sound

Fizz, Boom, Read: Sound/Music

Education.com: The Science of Sound

Playdough to Plato: Learning About Sound

Buggy and Buddy: Exploring Sound: Making a Kazoo

Kids Activities Blog: Teaching Kids How Sound is Made

Science Kids: Use a Balloon to Amplify Sound

Never Shushed: Family: Sound & Music

PBS Learning Media: Sound Vibrations

YouTube: Vibration Science Video

Sunflower Storytime: The 5 Senses

Sturgis Kids: Senses Storytime

Mr. R’s World of Math and Science: Ear Poem: Sense of Hearing

Abby the Librarian: Stop & Go Game with Bells

Kidsongs: Do Your Ears Hang Low?

What we would do differently:
This program worked very well as-is. There was not really a need for the Sound Experiments station since it lacked the luster of the instrument petting zoo and crafts, but we kept it because it was science-y. You could easily cut it from your plans, though (especially if you don’t already own 5 identical real-glass glasses).

Adaption for older/younger audience:
No recommendations for going younger than PreK. For a slightly older audience, there are many more complicated crafts that you could do as part of a larger program about the science of sound, such as kazoos, drums, or guitars. Also, please see our post about the Sound program we did with 4th-6th graders.

2 thoughts on “Week Fifty-Four: STEAM Storytime: Sound!

  1. […] (This example is based off of the concept found from the following blog in order to give a visualization of what the Storytime should look like: https://steminlibraries.com/2016/02/04/week-fifty-four-steam-storytime-sound/) […]

  2. […] Flannel Rhyme: What Noise Do I Make?I just used a few animal flannels I had, and decided I needed a vehicle, too, so made the truck to go “vroom!” My control-freak heart wishes the styles were all different or all the same, but that’s how it goes. AND – I realized after doing the YT video that “shake” needed to really be a shaker, not me shaking my shoulders…ay, yi, yi.Clap, stomp!Clap, clap, shake!Can you make the noise that I make?Credit: STEM in Libraries […]

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