Sound down | Grade 1 | BCHydro Power Smart for Schools

Sound down

Have fun making sounds and learn how quieting our world also conserves energy.

Activity Image
20 mins


Wind makes a sound. Fans make a sound. Get noisy through a fun and interactive slideshow. Make sounds and learn how artificial sounds use power, thus quieting our world can also conserve energy.


What you'll need

  • “Sound down” slideshow (French version also available)

  1. Explain to the students that there are lots of sounds in our lives and/or do the activity “What's that sound?”. Some sounds are natural like birds, wind, moving water. Some are artificial, that need power or energy, like cars, alarms, and machines. 
    • Like food and water, we don't want to waste energy and sometimes artificial sounds can be very loud. Can we turn off the artificial sounds and save energy by turning off the power?  
  2. Pull up the “Sound down” slideshow to explore what sounds are natural and what sounds are artificial and use power. 
    • Ask the students to make the sound of the slide picture. 
    • Ask the students if the item uses power. Can we turn it off to quiet the noise and save energy?
  3. At slide 12, turn off the projector, power down your classroom (lights, computers) and have the students listen. Is it quiet or are there sounds still like the heating system, people in other classrooms, and cars outside?
  4. Close off the activity by brainstorming  a list of things in the classroom that make sounds that can be turned off to save energy.

Modify or extend this activity

  • Have the students share their ideas to quiet the artificial sounds and save energy. 
  • Take students to a forest, park or nature area where there are only natural sounds to hear.
  • Consider the lesson “Our sources of light” which explores natural and artificial light.

Curriculum Fit

Grade 1 Science 


  • Light and sound can be produced and their properties can be changed
    •  Natural and artificial sources of light and sound

Curricular competencies

Questioning and predicting
  • Demonstrate curiosity and a sense of wonder about the world
Processing and analyzing data and information
  • Experience and interpret the local environment
  • Consider some environmental consequences of their actions
  • Communicate observations and ideas using oral language

Teaching Notes

Noise pollution

Noise or sound pollution refers to sounds that are annoying and disrupt activities of animals including humans. Mainly, these sounds are caused by artificial sounds like: cars/transportation engines, car horns, ambulance sirens, construction noise, and music playing. The effects on animals and humans can be extensive affecting:

  • Hearing
  • Sleep patterns
  • Cognitive functions
  • Behaviours 
  • Feeding patterns

Reducing noise pollution helps reduce the impacts on animals including us and often results in energy conservation as many artificial sounds are caused by sources that rely on power to operate. 


  • Assess students’ understanding of natural and artificial sounds around us.
  • Assess students’ knowledge of how artificial sounds often use. power and what choices we can make to reduce the sound and conserve energy.


Select the materials you require for this activity or download all

Sound Down Slideshow

13.7 mb pdf

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