Name That Sound

Children will connect sounds with objects.

Lesson Objective

Children will experience using their sense of hearing to help identify common sounds.


What You'll Need

  • Pictures from What Sound? (see Lesson Tips)
  • Empty box
  • A few items from the classroom, such as a bell, crayon, toy car, ball, or pennies

What To Do

  1. Begin a discussion with the children about the sense of hearing (see Did You Know?).
  2. Place an object in an empty box without the children seeing what it is, and shake the box.
  3. Ask the children to guess what it was that they heard (see Guiding Student Inquiry).
  4. Show the children the pictures, and have them identify the object or animal from the What Sound? cards (see Lesson Tips).
  5. Have the children make the sound that goes with the picture.
  6. Make a pile with the pictures facing down.
  7. Invite the children to take turns choosing one picture and making the sound of that picture.
  8. Have the other children try to guess what object or animal makes that sound.

Guiding Student Inquiry

  • Tell me what part of your body you use to hear things.
  • Describe the sound that is coming from the box.
  • Explain how you know what is in the box if you can’t see it.
  • How do you know what kind of sound that animal (object) makes?
  • Explain how you know which picture matches that sound.

Explore, Extend & Integrate

  • Place the cards in the science area for further investigation.
  • Make a recording of a variety of common noises, such as a car horn beeping, telephone or cell phone ringing, bird chirping, clock ticking, fire truck alarm going off, airplane flying, popcorn popping, and so forth. Play the recording for the children, and have them guess where the sound came from.

Check for Children’s Understanding

  • Could children tell which part of the body they use for hearing?
  • Could children explain how our hearing helps us to identify sounds?


Did You Know

The sense of hearing is one of our five senses. Our ears help us to gather information about our world by helping us to hear sounds. By hearing the sounds, our ears help us take in information about what is going on around us. Our brains use the sounds from both of our ears to determine the direction and distance of sounds. The sounds that we hear help us to decide whether or not to enjoy an experience.

Sound is made if something vibrates. When something moves back and forth rapidly, the air moves and makes waves. These movements are called sound waves, or vibrations. For instance, when a bell rings, the clapper inside the bell hits the side of the bell. The bell vibrates, and sound waves go through the air. The waves enter our ears, the brain starts to work, and we hear the bell ring.

Vocabulary: Child-Friendly Definitions

  • ears – the two organs of the body used for hearing.
  • hearing – to receive sound with the ears.
  • sound – anything that people or animals hear with their ears.
  • vibrate – to move back and forth very rapidly and steadily.
  • wave – a movement through the air.
  • sound wave – a wave of air pressure in the ear.

Lesson Tips

  • You may want to laminate the cards below for durability.


  • What Is Sound? by Charlotte Guillain
  • Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
  • Sounds All Around by Wendy Pfeffer
  • I Say, You Say Animal Sounds by Tad Carpenter

Home School Resources

Home educators: use these printable lesson PDFs to teach this lesson to your home schoolers. They're available in English and Spanish.

Home/School Connections

Las Conexiones a la Casa

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Content Provided By

Common Core State Standards Initiative – These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards ("CCSS"). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge [1]. Visit the CCSS