Exploring Light and Sound: CKSci Teacher Guide


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In this unit, students investigate with sound and light to see how sound and light can be used to communicate with an audience in a theater. Students will explore different light sources, mirrors, and shadows, but they will not discuss the speed of light. They will also not need to know technical details for how some communication devices work. They will further explore waves and their applications in technologies for information transfer in Grade 4 Unit 1 Energy Transfer and Transformation and Grade 4 Unit 2 Investigating Waves.


Students explore and solve problems related to sound and light as they begin to think about how an audience interprets sound and light. Throughout the unit, they will use prior knowledge, observations, and hands-on experience to begin to understand how information conveyed through sound and light is received using different technologies. They will demonstrate this understanding as they solve an engineering problem focused on designing a tool that can be used to signal audience participation during a school play. The unit Exploring Light and Sound provides students the opportunity to explore concepts that include the following:

  • Sound can make matter vibrate, and vibrating matter can make us hear a sound.
  • Objects can be seen if light is available to illuminate them or if they give off their own light.
  • Some materials allow light to pass through them, others allow only some light through, and others block all the light and create a dark shadow on any surface beyond them, where the light cannot reach. Mirrors can be used to redirect a light beam.
  • People also use a variety of devices to communicate (send and receive information) over long distances.

This activity-centered approach requires, at times, that schools collect or purchase materials and equipment that will be needed to complete activities. Click here to see a complete materials supply list for Exploring Light and Sound.

Related Components

  • Student Book: engagingly written text with many color illustrations, maps, vocabulary sidebars, and a glossary

Preview the Book

Download this CKSci Teacher Guide in its entirety in PDF form.


About CKSci

Core Knowledge Science™ (CKSci) is a comprehensive program covering life science, earth and space science, physical science, and engineering design practices.

CKSci Student Books offer engagingly written text with many color illustrations, photographs that presents scientific information in an ongoing phenomenon-based story. Student Books are designed to be read aloud by the teacher to the students.

Using CKSci in the Classroom

  • For Language Arts: You can also use CKSci to integrate content-rich nonfiction into your Reading/Language Arts lessons. Reading in the sciences provides background content knowledge that aids in reading across all disciplines.

CKSci Retail Prices

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Paperback (spiral-bound)
8.5 in. W x 11 in. H
222 pages

ISBN: 978-1-68380-576-2

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