The Montessori Sound Cylinders are part of the Sensorial area of the classroom. The Sound Cylinders focus on refining a child auditory sense. Montessori Sound Cylinders are beautiful if you have the resources to purchase them. Amazon has reasonably priced Montessori Sound Cylinders available through FAC System.
Montessori Outlet is also a great resource for well priced Sound Cylinder materials. Sound Boxes are an easy material to create yourself. One example is from Simply Montessori (look on Craigslist for old 8mm film canisters) and, of course, the venerable Deb at Living Montessori Now has an extensive post on Sound Cylinders. I created SoundBoxes for our home using jewelry boxes and beans. Pretty simple and inexpensive.
Although there are limited materials within Auditory, the variations and extensions seem endless and are my favorite within the Sensorial Area. Listening exercises draw children into the work and getting children moving is often simply integrated into the work. Additionally, language development opportunities are abundant as children identify sounds in their environment. A post on variations and extensions to come soon.
The Sound Cylinders Lesson: Presentation I
“These are the sound cylinders. Let’s work with the blue box.”
Use 3-finger grip to lift cylinders and line them up left to right. Place the empty box over the lift and in the upper left corner of the rug.
- Lift cylinder to right ear and shake three times. Repeat with each cylinder.
- Invite the child to do the work: “Would you like to hear the sounds?
Sound Cylinders Lesson: Presentation II
Prepare the boxes ahead of time to include only the loudest and softest cylinders.
- “Would you like to try something new with the sound cylinders? I’ll carry the red box. You carry the blue box.”
- Place boxes in the center of the mat, remove lids and place them in the upper left corner of the rug.
- Remove cylinders one by one from the left box, then the right box
- Move the two end cylinders down and slightly below the remaining cylinders to form an inverted “V”
- Shake each cylinder from left to right offering the child a turn.
- Say to the child: “Now, let’s try to find a match.”
- Isolate the lower left cylinder by moving it slightly down and to the left. Shake it and put it down. Pick up lower right cylinder, shake it, put it down, shake control again. If it isn’t a match, place back into the original spot. If it is a match, shake the mate, shake the control, then bring the control to the right side of the mate.
- Shake the control. Shake the mate. “These two are the same. They match.”
- Move matched pair side by side to the upper left.
- Repeat matching steps with remaining cylinders.
The Sound Cylinders Lesson: Presentation III
Add one or two new pair of cylinders at each presentation until there are 12 cylinders or six pairs total. Be sure to prepare the boxes before the presentation. Arrange the cylinders in an inverted “V” and proceed as in Presentation II.
The Sound Cylinders Lesson: Presentation VII
- “Would you like to learn something new with the sound cylinders? We’ll just get one box. Which on should we choose?”
- Remove cylinders from the box and place them in a horizontal line.
- Say to the child: “Now I am going to find the loudest sound.” Shake each cylinder, moving left to right. Pause and think when finished.
- “I think this one is the loudest.” Move that cylinder below and to the left. Listen to each cylinder to recheck your decision.
- “Now I am going to find the softest.” Same procedure. “I think this one is the softest.” Move that cylinder to the lower right. Repeat the same procedure.
- Continue looking for the “loudest cylinder left”. Always check the remaining cylinders.
- When finished: “Would you like to arrange the cylinders loudest to softest?”
As I mentioned there are many ways to create your own DIY inexpensive Sound Cylinders. However, if you would like to purchase a set, it it worth it. Montessori Sound Cylinders can be purchased a reasonable price from Amazon.