What that's sound?
We’re going on a sound walk! Plan a route around and out of the setting that will enable children to hear a range of familiar and unfamiliar sounds. At points on the walk, stand still and encourage the children to listen and record the sounds they hear on an MP3 player or tablet. What can they hear? Where is the sound coming from? Is there more than one sound? Is this the noisiest place in school? Encourage the children to make sounds of their own. They can splash in puddles, run through leaves, tap metal railings with sticks, sing, whisper and shout.
Things the children could do
- Name the sounds they can hear around them.
- Decide if the sounds are loud or quiet.
- Talk about high and low pitched sounds.
- Stand still and listen carefully.
- Enjoy some peace and quiet.
- Compare natural and man-made sounds.
- Use their voice in different ways.
Display onomatopoeic word cards, such as pop, bang, crash, click, pow, boom, thud, bam, buzz, swoosh, boink, smash and splat! Can the children read any of the words? How would they say them? What might make that sound? Encourage children to say each word with expression and put it together with an action. Read a selection of poems from Noisy Poems by Jill Bennett, emphasising the onomatopoeic words.
‘Onomatopoeic display words’
What’s my name?
Display a range of instruments on a table top. Invite the children to look closely at the instruments and discuss the name of each. Work together to sound out the names of each instrument, modelling the spellings on a whiteboard. Provide each child with an ‘Instrument spotting sheet’ and encourage them to complete it to show which instruments are on the table. If able, encourage the children to copy or write the name of each instrument.
Instruments could include, a triangle, drum, castanets, bells, cymbals and recorder. An ‘Instrument spotting sheet’ is available on The Hub.
The very quiet cricket!
Read the story The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle to the children. Encourage them to join in with the story as it becomes more familiar to them including saying the insect’s greetings in different voices, making the sounds of the animals with instruments and whispering the repeated refrain, ‘But nothing happened. Not a sound.’ Practise and perform the story to an audience.
Suggestions for making the sounds in the story include children rubbing their hands together to make the sound of the crickets, scrunching foil to make the noise of the locust, using a guiro for the noise of the praying mantis and a kazoo for the noise of the worm.
Understanding of the world-
What’s that sound?
Download sound effect apps onto suitable devices for the children to explore. Play a sound effect and ask ‘What’s that sound?’ Encourage the children to explain what they think is making each sound. Allow children to take the lead by showing them how to turn devices on and off, adjust the volume and press play, pause or stop.
A list of sound effect apps are listed in the ‘Useful stuff’ document available on The Hub.