Looking for light and sound activities? You’ve come to the right corner of the Internet! There are many simple, hands-on experiments and fun games you can play to help students learn and retain science concepts related to light and sound.

Your students will “light up” when you use the experiments, activities, and games shared here!

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How to Teach Light and Sound

Together or separate… that is the question!

When planning to teach light and sound, you must first decide whether to teach them together or separately. As a Virginia educator, I usually teach these concepts separately because they are two different Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs).

But, there are advantages to teaching them at the same time. Teaching light and sound at the same time can help students make greater connections between the two. For example, when learning about light waves and sound waves, being able to see both at the same time will enable them to build connections and retain the information better.

There is no right or wrong way to teach the material!

Light and Sound Science Experiments

One of the best ways to teach light and sound is through simple, hands-on experiments.

These experiments do not have to cost a lot of money. If you have a flashlight and a few random items lying around your classroom, you have everything you need for engaging light and sound activities!

Light Experiments

There are many light experiments you can perform around your classroom with a flashlight. But, one of my favorites involves having students investigate reflection, refraction, transmission, and absorption.

For this activity, I assign students to groups of 2 to 4 students and give each group a flashlight. Around the classroom, I set up stations with items such as a mirror, a clear glass of water, tissue paper, and black socks.

The groups rotate through each station and experiment with how the light from their flashlights interacts with each of the items.

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This light experiment is included in my Light Unit. You can find the unit HERE.

Later, students go on a light hunt to further explore what they learned about reflection, refraction, transmission, and absorption.

During the light hunt, students randomly select items from around the classroom and predict how light will interact with each item. Then, they use a flashlight to test their predictions and record the results.

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This light hunt is included in my Light Unit. You can find the unit HERE.

Sound Experiments

An important concept students must learn when investigating sound is that sound is produced through vibrations. Rather than directly telling students this information, allow them to discover it on their own.

You can do this by setting up stations around the classroom with objects that vibrate and make sounds when you shake or tap them. I like to use objects such as a rubber band, a tuning fork, metal spoons, a drum, and a ruler taped to the edge of a desk.

Another fun station for this activity is to leave instructions, directing students to place their hands over their throats and say “AHHHH.” This will allow them to feel their vocal cords vibrating.

As students rotate through the stations, discuss what they have in common. Lead students to the conclusion that all of the objects made sound when they vibrated.

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This sound experiment is included in my Sound Unit. You can find the unit HERE.

Helpful Tip: If you need more objects for these sound stations, talk to the music teacher at your school. She likely has a variety of small percussion and string instruments that you can borrow for the day.

Light and Sound Activities with Models

With both light and sound, students explore waves. Modeling the waves makes for fun light and sound activities.

For sound waves, a Slinky works well as a model. To model sound waves, stretch the Slinky out and push it back together. The coils pushing together and spreading out model how energy is transferred through a sound wave.

For light waves, I like to have students draw the waves related to each color of the visible spectrum. Make sure they pay attention to the wavelength associated with each color.

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This light activity is included in my Light Unit. You can find the unit HERE.

Light and Sound Interactive Games

Games are a fun way to review any science concept. I’ve listed some of my favorite games to use with my light and sound activities below.

Jeopardy Games

Jeopardy games have quickly become the favorite science review activity in my classroom. I’ve even heard students say that they forgot they were at school because they were having so much fun playing the games with their friends.

My Light Jeopardy Game and Sound Jeopardy Game each feature five categories, totaling 25 questions each. The presentations are coded so that students can easily navigate between the category board, questions, and answers. They can also type points into a scoreboard, even when in presentation mode. All of my science Jeopardy games come with two versions—one for PowerPoint and one for Google Slides.

The following video is a short tutorial that shows how my science Jeopardy games work.

Escape Rooms

Students also love reviewing science skills with escape rooms!

In my Light and Sound Escape Rooms, students find themselves trapped! The only way to escape is for students to successfully complete challenges that require them to use critical thinking skills as they review science concepts.

Some of the activities in my Light Escape Room include:

  • identifying true statements about light
  • solving math problems to create a code
  • decoding information to label a model of a light wave
  • reading a passage and decoding information about how light travels
  • identifying whether objects are transparent, translucent, or opaque
  • labeling the parts of the visible spectrum
  • matching terms related to light to their correct descriptions
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You can find this Light Escape Room HERE.

Some of the activities in my Sound Escape Room include:

  • identifying true statements about sound
  • solving math problems to create a code
  • using coordinates to find key vocabulary and solve riddles
  • reading a passage and decoding information about sound
  • analyzing musical instruments to answer questions and create a code
  • matching terms related to sound to their correct definitions
  • analyzing how sound travels through solids, liquids, and gases
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You can find this Sound Escape Room HERE.

Task Cards Games

I love using task cards to review any subject or topic. They are no-prep and students never get tired of them because there are so many games you can play with them.

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You can find these Light Task Cards HERE.

One of my favorite task card games is a scavenger hunt. For this activity, place your cards at different locations around the room. Each student will randomly draw a number from a basket. Then, they must find the task card with the same number. When they find the correct card, they should write the response to the question on their task card recording worksheet and put the card back exactly where they found it. Students should continue selecting numbers from the basket and searching for cards until they find all the task cards and respond to all the questions.

You can find more task card games in this blog post.

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You can find these Sound Task Cards HERE.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for light and sound activities that will leave your students “glowing” (get it!), you’ve come to the right place!

There are endless possibilities for hands-on exploration and fun when teaching light and sound. In addition to the experiments, models, and games that I have shared here, you can find even more light and sound activities in my Light Lesson Plans and my Sound Lesson Plans. Each detailed unit provides step-by-step instructions for teaching each lesson, worksheets, experiments, digital activities, assessments, and word wall cards.

Here are some additional SOL-aligned resources for teaching light:

Here are some additional SOL-aligned resources for teaching sound:

You’re certain to “brighten up” your students’ days with these light and sound activities.

Okay… I’ll stop with the light puns now.😜

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