How do we hear sound?

Home learning focus

Learn the basics of how we hear sounds.

This lesson includes:

  • three videos explaining what is sound and how we hear sound

  • three activities to try at home

Learn

Sounds are made when objects vibrate.

The vibration makes the air around the object vibrate and the air vibrations enter your ear - you hear them as sounds.

You cannot always see the vibrations, but if something is making a sound, some part of it is always vibrating.

The following videos discusses how we hear sounds in more detail.

Sound waves can travel through solids (such as metal, stone and wood), liquids (such as water) and gases (such as air).

The clip below shows a demonstration of how particles vibrate and collide with one another to create sound.

A demonstration of how particles vibrate and collide with one another to create sound

Sound waves travel through the air down the ear to the ear drum.

When the vibrations hit the ear drum, this sends a message to the brain that changes the vibrations into sounds.

The clip below shows how sound is detected by our ears.

Practise

Activity 1

Fill in the gaps using the correct term in the activity below.

Activity 2

Test your knowledge with this quiz!

Activity 3

Using the information in this lesson, create a poster to explain how we hear sounds.

Use key vocabulary and diagrams to make your poster clear and eye-catching.

There's more to learn

Have a look at these other resources around the BBC and the web.

More lessons for Year 4 and P5
KS2 Science
KS2 Science
Primary games
Explore how different sounds are made with House of Sound
Newsround