This learning activity is best used after teaching a lesson on sound, pitch, and amplitude.
Show students the Vibration Science Video as a review.
This chicken in a cup sound activity demonstrates how sound can be made with a string and amplified with a cup. It is a STEM activity that uses a string, a cup, and a damp paper towel to show vibration and amplification of sound.
After watching the video, explain to the students they will make an instrument to demonstrate the properties of sound. Group students into groups of three. Distribute materials (one 18 oz. yellow plastic solo cup per group, one paperclip per group, one piece of orange yarn cut into 18-inch length per group, one paper towel per group, and a piece of red construction paper per group). Each group will also need a small cup of water, scissors, a black sharpie, and glue.
To make the Chicken in a Cup Instrument: Poke a hole in the bottom of the solo cup and thread the yarn through. Tie the end of the yarn to the paperclip to hold the yarn in place. Use the red piece of construction paper and the scissors to cut a rooster's comb out and glue it to the bottom of the solo cup. Use the black sharpie to draw eyes and a beak on the front of the solo cup. Fold the paper towel in half and then fold it in half again. Dip the paper towel in the water to dampen. Hold the paper towel in one hand and grab the string towards the large opening of the cup. Drag the wet paper towel down the string. What happens? (should make a chicken sound)