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Read and Discuss: Oscar and the Bat: A Book About Sound

Oscar is a curious kitten, full of questions about sound.


  • Oscar and the Bat: A Book About Sound by Geoff Waring

Key Science Concepts

  • Different objects make different sounds.
  • Sounds can vary in volume (loud and soft) and pitch (high and low).
  • Sounds have a source—a sound can be tracked to its source.


Before you read: Show children the cover, and read the title and author’s name. Also read the sound that is coming from the bee: Buzzzzzzzz. Ask children, Who do you think Oscar might be? What do you think Oscar and the Bat are doing?  

As you read: While reading, have children imitate sounds after you make them.

After you read: Ask, What was the mother cat’s favorite sound? Why do you think that was her favorite sound? What was Oscar’s favorite sound? Why do you think he liked it so much? What was your favorite sound in the book? Then go back through the book, selecting six or eight pages, and have children describe the sounds presented in those pages. Encourage them to use descriptive vocabulary (loud, soft, high, low, squeaky, gentle, scary).  

Reflect and Share

This week, make two different charts on different aspects of sound: volume and pitch. You’ll use these charts over the course of the week.

T-Chart: Volume

Loud/Quiet (or Soft)

Tell children that volume has to do with how loud or soft a sound is. Tell them that the words quiet and soft mean the same thing. Model the sounds that correspond to the words, and ask children what they remember about volume from last week.

  • Remember when we listened to the sounds of cotton balls, paper, and paper clips dropping? What kind of sounds were those?
  • Remember when we used sticks to bang on different things outside? What kind of sounds were those?

Then ask children to name some examples from the book, writing down the loud and quiet sounds on the T-chart. Flip through the pages to remind children of different sounds.

  • Can you name a loud sound from the book? (Thunder, p. 16)
  • Can you name a quiet, or soft sound from the book? (Grass in the wind, p. 12, or the rain, p. 19)
  • How do you think a sound can change from loud to soft? What do you do to make your voice soft? Loud? How might you change a soft sound to a loud one?  

T-Chart: Pitch

High/Low (or Deep)

Tell children that pitch has to do with how high or low a sound is. Model the sounds that correspond to the words, and ask them to imitate you. Then ask for examples from the book and write them on the chart.

  • High pitch: birds on p. 7, bats on p.10. The baby blackbirds sing cheep, cheep, cheep. How would you describe the sounds they make? Can you say “cheep, cheep” in an even higher voice?
  • Low pitch: cow on p. 22. The cow says: MOOOOO! (make it loud but low). What kind of sound is that? The cow is making a loud sound but it’s also a low or deep sound (model the sound). Can you make a louder mooing sound? What about a deeper, lower mooing sound?

Write down the different types of sounds children identify on the chart. Tell children you are going to fill out the chart together over the course of the week.