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  • Below are links to Science Learning Hub resources related to sound in the Physical World strand of the New Zealand Curriculum.

    Exploring sound – resources for the early years to year 10

    Explore the big ideas that underpin sound in Building Science Concepts: Exploring sound. It is a partial replication of Building Science Concepts Book 18 Exploring Sound: Using Sound-makers and Musical Instruments.

    For educators working at the lower levels of the New Zealand Curriculum, we’ve curated resources in this collection: Sound – lower primary.

    For educators working at higher levels of the New Zealand Curriculum, the article Sound – understanding standing waves and the suite of resources listed in the related content section, provide additional information and investigations.

    Sound is a form of energy

    Sound is a form of energy. It is made up of pressure waves that are generated when something vibrates, causing particles to move backwards and forwards and bump into each other. These pressure waves can travel through air, water or a solid.

    To create sound, you need an input of energy in the form of movement. These resources provide background information on sound and energy:


    Hearing is the process of detecting sound. Humans hear frequencies between 20 Hz and 20 kHz. Sound below this range is called infrasound and sound above this range is called ultrasound. Animals are able to detect sound at a range of frequencies both above and below the limits of human hearing.

    These resources provide background information on hearing:

    Activity ideas

    Investigating sound has simple exploratory activities and questions to experience and build an understanding of sound.

    In Hearing sounds, students use whispers and vibrations to hear and experience how sound moves.

    In Musical sounds, students experience how striking, blowing, plucking and scraping create sounds and how these sounds can come together to make music.

    In Investigating movement and sound with a pūrerehua, students create and use a Māori musical instrument.

    In Modelling waves with slinkies, students model how sound travels by sending waves along two stretched plastic slinkies tied together.

    In Sound on an oscilloscope, students play different kinds of sounds near a computer microphone and watch the resulting visual display created by oscilloscope software.

    In Make and use a hydrophone, students make a hydrophone and use it to listen to underwater sounds.

    In Investigating sound wave resonance, students make beautiful music while investigating sound waves and the speed of sound – using the simplest of equipment and a phone.

    Measuring the speed of sound – use a timing app to measure the speed of sound.

    PLD – Sounds of Aotearoa

    This recorded professional learning session features Greta Dromgool and educators from the New Zealand Association of Primary Science Educators (NZAPSE) exploring fun ways to learn and teach about sound.

    Visit our Sound Pinterest board for additional resources.

    Related content

    Visit the sound topic for additional resources.

    Visit our Sound Pinterest board.

      Published 30 November 2022 Referencing Hub articles
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