Explore Together (indoors): Tap and Scrape Sounds

  • a selection of containers, bottles, tubes, and pie pans made of plastic, cardboard, and aluminum that make interesting sounds when tapped and scraped (containers with ridges make especially interesting scraping sounds)
  • craft sticks and unsharpened pencils with erasers (for tapping and scraping)
  • different
  • loud
  • predict
  • same
  • scrape
  • soft
  • sound
  • surface
  • tap

MA Standards:

Speaking and Listening/SL.PK.MA.1: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners during daily routines and play.

MA Draft STE Standards:

Physical Sciences/Matter and Its Interactions/PS4.A: Investigate different sounds made by different objects and different materials and reason about what is making the sounds. [Cause and Effect]

Head Start Outcomes:

Logic and Reasoning/Reasoning and Problem Solving: Recognizes cause and effect relationships.
Logic and Reasoning/Reasoning and Problem Solving: Classifies, compares, and contrasts objects, events, and experiences.

PreK Learning Guidelines:

Science and Technology/Inquiry Skills 1: Ask and seek out answers to questions about objects and events with the assistance of interested adults.
Science and Technology/Inquiry Skills 2: Make predictions about changes in materials or objects based on past experience.
Science and Technology/Living Things and Their Environment 15: Use their senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste to explore their environment using sensory vocabulary.

Explore Together (indoors): Tap and Scrape Sounds

© Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Early Education and Care (Jennifer Waddell photographer). All rights reserved.

STEM Key Concepts: Sounds have a source; Different objects make different sounds; An action has to happen to make a sound

ELA Focus Skills: Speaking and Listening, Vocabulary

Display and demonstrate how to use the materials to make sounds. Think aloud as you model describing the materials used to make different sounds. For example,

  • Hold up a plastic pie plate. Say, This surface is smooth. I wonder what kind of sound it will make if I scrape the side of a pencil over the surface. Scrape the surface and ask, What kind of sound did it make?  (loud, soft, rubbing sound, etc.)
  • Pass around an aluminum pie plate with a ridged edge so children can feel the surface. Ask, Can you predict the sound this will make when I tap it? Why do you think it will make that sound? Do you think the sounds will be the same or different than the plastic plate? Encourage children to describe the sound and how they are the same or different.

Then invite several children to select materials and explore making sounds. Each time, ask the group to listen closely, imitate, and describe the sounds. (It sounded like                 . It’s a                sound. I think the sound is               .)

Allow children to freely explore making sounds with the materials. Observe them at work, noticing what captures their attention.

  • At times, you may want to engage them in conversation, asking them to talk about what sounds they are making or what they are doing to make those sounds as well as what they are noticing and wondering.

Reflect and Share
Have children share their observations by demonstrating some of the sounds they made with the materials. Ask, Can you repeat a sound you made using the pie plate? Can you describe what kind of sound is it? Encourage children to use vocabulary such as loud, soft, and scratchy to describe the sounds.

English Language Learners: Whenever possible, demonstrate word meanings with gestures and facial expressions. Have children repeat the words tap and scrape and the gestures after you.

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