UCMP Lessons  

Can You Match Them?

Author: Sharon Janulaw

Overview: Students find pairs of matching sounds by shaking lidded containers and listening to the sounds that are generated.

Lesson Concepts:

Grade Span: K–2


Advance Preparation:

— Gather a supply of empty film cans or other small containers with lids.
— Make matching pairs of sound cans by filling two containers with the same amount of beans, two containers with the same amount of popcorn, two containers with a penny each, two containers with the same amount of water, etc.
— Make a card with two circles for each pair of sound cans.

Time: 20 minutes

Grouping: Individuals or groups

Teacher Background:

It is essential for children to learn that rational thought and the scientific enterprise are based upon observations, both direct and indirect. Observations using our senses and extensions of our senses are the starting points for knowledge that reaps benefits for our daily lives and contributes to scientific understanding.

Explore this link for additional information on the topics covered in this lesson:

Teaching Tips:

Target or K-Mart usually has empty film cans with lids that they give away. Students may want to take the lids off of the containers to use their sense of sight rather than their sense of hearing. You may want to remind them that they are only using their sense of hearing. If you make a dozen pairs of sound cans, a small group can work together to match sounds.


  1. Use an item such as a bell, a tambourine, a chime, to make a sound without the students seeing what you’re using to make the sound. Ask them to listen to another sound and decide whether the two sounds are the same or different. You can ask them if they know what made the sound. Do the same with another pair of sounds.
  2. Tell them that they will use their sense of hearing to match the cans that make the same sound. They will shake a can, holding the lid firmly on it, and listen to the sound it makes. They will search for the matching sound by shaking the other cans to find the one that matches.
  3. When they find a pair of sound cans, they will put that pair on the circles of a card on the table. They continue until all of the cans are matched correctly. They should mix the cans up for use by the next group.
  4. During a group discussion, ask them to tell what methods they used to match the sound cans correctly.


Place items behind a screen. Have a student stand behind the screen and make sounds with two objects or use the same object to make the two sounds. Students in front of the screen decide whether it was the same object or different objects that made the sounds.

Updated October 31, 2003

Home  |   What's new  |   About UCMP  |   History of Life  |   Collections  |   Subway

Copyright symbol