Unit Introduction

In Unit 3, children begin to explore the world of sound. Through free exploration and guided, hands-on activities, children gain an understanding of the basic concepts of sound and an awareness of the sounds all around them. Children begin to understand where sounds come from, what direction they travel in, and how to track the source of a sound. They will also be listening to sounds and creating sounds through the next three weeks. In Unit 4, children expand their knowledge of sounds as they learn about sounds in music.

  • Sounds All Around (Week One). Children become aware of the many different sounds they hear around them in their everyday environment—indoors and outdoors. They learn to listen quietly to sounds, identify sounds, and track the source of a sound. By using key vocabulary, such as loud, louder, soft, softer, and quiet, they begin to understand sound and some of the similarities and differences in sounds. This new awareness of sound supports their learning through Weeks 1 and 2. 

  • Make a Sound: Loud and Quiet (Week Two). Children begin to learn how to classify sounds as either loud or quiet. The will explore loud and soft sounds by creating them with their bodies and with various everyday materials, and by going on listening walks. They will listen to stories and watch videos to support their learning about loud and quiet sounds.

  • How Does It Sound? (Week Three). Children deepen their understanding of the qualities of sound by investigating pitch and timbre. Children will explore volume, pitch, and timbre by listening to and making different sounds with their voices. Children will also listen to digitally-recorded animal sounds and other recorded sounds and begin to classify sounds as either “high or low” or “loud or soft.”

Children’s learning is supported through daily hands-on exploration and by listening to read-aloud books and watching media throughout the unit. Children also begin to learn strategies they can use for communicating with others, making good choices, problem solving, cooperation and planning, and getting along with others.

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