Draw and identify wave patterns with varying wave characteristics such as different frequencies and amplitudes.
Describe how wave characteristics such as frequency and amplitude correspond to sound pitch and sound volume.
Understand how to generate high/low pitch notes with varying volumes using a string instrument.
We are surrounded by sounds every day, ranging from unpleasant ones like traffic noise to enjoyable ones like music or singing birds. What makes these sounds different? Why are some louder or higher pitched than others? In this lesson plan, your students will investigate how the properties of a sound wave, like frequency and amplitude, affect the sounds we hear. They will do this with a homemade musical instrument—a rubber band guitar!
Scissors, or box cutter if you are using cardboard boxes
Materials per group of students:
Cardboard box or tissue box (with single hole on one side)
Rubber band big enough to stretch around the box and cover the hole
Pencils, markers, or crayons (2)
A smartphone or tablet to record your data
This project uses Google's Science Journal app, a free app that allows you to gather and record data with a cell phone or tablet. You can download the app from Google Play for Android devices (version 4.4 or newer) or from the App Store
for iOS devices (iOS 9.3 or newer).
You can find this page online at: https://www.sciencebuddies.org/teacher-resources/lesson-plans/sound-wave-frequency-amplitude
You may print and distribute up to 200 copies of this document annually, at no charge, for personal and classroom educational use. When printing this document, you may NOT modify it in any way. For any other use, please contact Science Buddies.