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Building Blocks of Science® 3D: Light and Sound Waves (©2019) 3-Use Unit Kit

(in stock)


Grade 1. In 6 lessons spanning 14 class sessions, the Building Blocks of Science® unit Light and Sound Waves introduces students to the physical science concepts of light and sound, and that both phenomena travel in waves. Building Blocks of Science® 3D lessons are structured in 30-minute class sessions, making it easy to fit science into your day. The Light and Sound Waves 3-Use Unit Kit includes a teacher's guide (item #514242), a 60-month license for the teacher and students to access online digital resources, and enough supplies and apparatus to teach the unit 3 times to a class of up to 24 students.

Along with hands-on learning, this Building Blocks of Science® 3D unit also provides digital resources to enhance the classroom experience. These components offer an additional method of delivering content, particularly for classrooms with consistent access to computers or tablets. Digital components include digital teacher's guide, simulations, digital literacy reader, interactive whiteboard activities, interactive student investigation sheets, and assessment. All digital resources for Building Blocks of Science® 3D are accessible at CarolinaScienceOnline.com.

Unit Summary
Humans are constantly in the process of communicating, or gathering and sharing information from the world around us. Many of the technologies we use to communicate every day depend on light and sound; students can observe many examples of this in their daily interactions, including fire alarms, traffic lights, cell phones, and music. In the six lessons in Light and Sound Waves, students are introduced to concepts underlying light and sound and how they can be used to communicate. Students explore these concepts through investigation, discussion, and problem-solving. Students practice making predictions, providing evidence and observations, and designing and testing plans.

Next Generation Science Standards*
The Building Blocks of Science® 3D unit Light and Sound Waves (©2019) integrates process skills as defined by the Next Generation Science Standards.

Performance Expectations

  • 1-PS4-1: Plan and conduct investigations to provide evidence that vibrating materials can make sound and that sound can make materials vibrate.
  • 1-PS4-2: Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that objects can be seen only when illuminated.
  • 1-PS4-3: Plan and conduct an investigation to determine the effect of placing objects made with different materials in the path of a beam of light.
  • 1-PS4-4: Use tools and materials to design and build a device that uses light or sound to solve the problem of communicating over a distance.
  • K-2-ETS1-1: Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
  • K-2-ETS1-2: Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • PS4.A: Wave Properties
  • PS4.B: Electromagnetic Radiation
  • PS4.C: Information Technologies and Instrumentation
  • ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems
  • ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions

Science and Engineering Practices

  • Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
  • Analyzing and Interpreting Data
  • Developing and Using Models
  • Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Crosscutting Concepts

  • Patterns
  • Cause and Effect

Common Core State Standards
Language Arts

  • L.1.4: Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
  • L.1.5: Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
  • RF.1.3: Phonics and Word Recognition
  • RI.1.7: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
  • SL.1.1: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.1.2: Conventions of Standard English
  • SL.1.5: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
  • W.1.8: Research to Build and Present Knowledge


  • 1.MD.C.4: Represent and interpret data.
  • 1.G.A.1: Reason with shapes and their attributes.

Lesson Summaries
Lesson 1

The lesson begins with a pre-unit assessment in which students share their ideas about light and sound. Students then explore how vibrations make waves that travel from their source and can be used to produce sound and light.
Lesson 2
Students apply what they know about vibrations and waves to build a drum, investigate the relationship between vibration speed and pitch, and construct a simple instrument with rubber bands and a box. Students should notice that the speed of vibrations affects a sound's pitch and that volume is a measure of intensity of a sound wave.
Lesson 3
Students use solid objects and string to observe the movement of sound waves to strengthen the understanding that sound travels in waves. Students first observe sound being transferred by waves through the air to their ears as they strike a metal spoon tied to a string. Students then use a simple device to communicate a message through a string.
Lesson 4
Students use a pinhole box to find out more about light and how it illuminates objects. Students should be able to describe that objects must be illuminated, either naturally or artificially, to be seen.
Lesson 5
Students use a flashlight to explore how light interacts with a variety of materials that are transparent, translucent, and opaque. Students also use mirrors to explore reflection.
Lesson 6
Students learn more about communication, including that all communication requires a transmitter, a receiver, and a code to transfer information. Students work in pairs to apply their knowledge in an engineering design challenge to build a device that uses light or sound to communicate. After teams have constructed their devices, each demonstrates for the class how it works and describes ways they might improve their design. As a post-unit assessment, students compare their knowledge from the beginning of the unit to what they know now. By the end of this lesson, students should be able to relate the concepts of light and sound to communication phenomena they encounter in their daily lives.

*Next Generation Science Standards® is a registered trademark of WestEd. Neither WestEd nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.


What’s Included:
  • 1 Teacher's Guide
  • 1 Unit Technology Pack (60-month subscription to CarolinaScienceOnline.com to access digital teacher's guide, digital instructional resources, and digital literacy reader)
  • Light and Sound Waves On-Grade Student Reader
  • Light and Sound Waves Below-Grade Student Reader
  • 12 Flashlight, LED, with Batteries
  • 12 Mirror, Unbreakable, 4 x 6"
  • 15 Rubber Sheet, Synthetic, 6 x 6"
  • 48 Cup with Lid, 1 oz
  • 25 Cup, Plastic, Squat, 9 oz
  • 1 Wrap, Plastic, Roll
  • 1 Paper, Waxed, 75-ft Roll
  • 12 Box, #128, 8 x 8 x 6"
  • 24 Tube, Cardboard, 5 x 15 cm
  • 75 Cup, Paper, 6 oz
  • 3 Twine, Cotton, Household, Roll
  • 45 Rubber Band, #16
  • 96 Rubber Band, #32
  • 48 Rubber Band, #64
  • 70 Paper, Construction, Black, 9 x 12"
Return Policy:

If for any reason you are not satisfied with this item, it is eligible for a return, exchange, refund, or credit up to 180 days from date of purchase. Restrictions may apply. Returns & Exchanges Policy.