How Loud Is Loud?


How are sounds made? How is sound volume measured? Explore decibels and levels of loudness.


1. Think of as many objects and creatures that make sounds as you can. Use Crayola® Crayons to draw their pictures on index cards. Draw one item on each card.

2. Combine your cards with classmates in a small group. Think of several ways to classify your pictures using different attributes (for example: country or city sounds; natural or created sounds; pleasing and harsh sounds). Sort your cards using one of these sets of attributes. Choose new categories and sort them again. Repeat until you have sorted them by all of your categories.

3. Find out how scientists measure loudness. Share information about decibels and the equipment that measures them. If possible, measure the sounds of some of the items on your cards.

4. Gather as a group again. Decide whether sounds of the items on your cards are soft, medium, or loud. Rank order the sounds from softest to loudest.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.


  • Explore how things vibrate to create sounds. Experiment with rubber bands, drums, bells, and other objects. Gently place a hand on your throat while you talk or sing. Find out how the human ear works.
  • Work in small groups to record various sounds, then trade recordings to identify each others' sound sources. Draw pictures of the creatures and objects that made these sounds on blank BINGO grids. Exchange grids to play a listening game to identify each sound.
  • Older children research the range of sounds that can be heard by the human ear. At what levels can sounds harm human ears? How? Create posters that list decibel levels of sounds from familiar sources. How can you protect your sense of hearing?

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Crayons
household supplies
  • index cards



  • Pre-K and Kindergarten
  • Grades 1 to 3


  • Visual Arts
  • Math
  • Science


  • Less than 1/2 hour
  • 30 to 60 minutes


  • Children identify, draw, and classify creatures and objects that make sounds.

  • Children research information about decibels and how levels of loudness are measured.

  • Children rank order drawings according to loudness of their sounds.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards