EL Support Lesson

Sound Machines

Your ELs will love getting creative as they make their very own sound machines to explore how common materials make different sounds. Can be used as a stand alone or support lesson for the **Can You Hear a Who?** lesson plan.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Can You Hear a Who? lesson plan.
Grade Subject View aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Can You Hear a Who? lesson plan.

Students will be able to identify different common sounds.


Students will be able to describe common sounds using sentence frames and tactile supports.

(2 minutes)
  • Gather the class together for the read-aloud.
  • Ask students to close their eyes and listen carefully, then clap your hands.
  • Have students share what they heard (hands clapping) and ask them to try to make the same sound on their own.
  • Explain that today you will be teaching all about sound!
(10 minutes)
  • Introduce sound by reading Sounds All Around by Wendy Pfeffer to the class.
  • Pause as you read to introduce and define new vocabulary words for the lesson using the text along with the attached glossary and vocabulary cards.
  • Connect hearing sounds with the concept of hearing vibrations by having students touch an object that makes noise (e.g., a drum) while it is making noise. Have students share how it feels and how it sounds.
(5 minutes)
  • Place a variety of objects (shakers, drum, bottle filled with water, rice shaker) in a large box or behind a board or curtain.
  • Model choosing one item and making noise with it. Ask students to turn and talk to a partner to guess what kind of object made the sound.
  • Invite several students one at a time to come up to the front and choose an object from the box (hiding it from their classmates) and making the sound.
  • Ask the rest of the class to guess what is making that sound and to describe how it sounds using the sentence frame: "I think __ __ __ __ made the sound. It sounds like a __ __ __ __."
(15 minutes)
  • Show students the recycled materials you collected and model how to create your own unique "sound machine" using the objects (e.g., putting rice inside of a bottle and taping it closed).
  • Explain that students will get to make their very own "sound machine" using the provided materials and then practice making different sounds with their machines.
  • Review any materials expectations and model how to choose 1-2 items at a time.
  • Send students off to create independently for 10 minutes.
  • Gather students back together and pair students together to describe their new sound using sentence frames and sound vocabulary: "I made a __ __ __ __. It sounds like __ __ __ __."


  • Provide fewer objects and work within a small group to create 1-2 different sounds. Have the students practice making different sounds using the same object (loud/quiet, etc.).


  • Have students create a second sound using different materials. Ask students to describe their new sound to a peer.
(5 minutes)
  • Assess if students can describe sounds using new vocabulary words. Can students identify different sounds? Are students able to explain why the same things might sound differently or the same?
(3 minutes)
  • Gather the class back together and have students display their sound machines and share their new sound toy with the class.

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