Sounds on display

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By Jean Evansearly years consultant and author

Go for a ‘sound walk’ using technology to record sounds along the way, then create an interactive sounds display

Creating the display

With parental permission, take the children on a walk around your setting. Encourage them to listen for different sounds, such as traffic, birds, people and so on.

Back at your setting, show the children some maps and explain their uses. Suggest they make a map of the route that they followed on their walk showing all of the sounds they heard. Draw a rough plan together on a large sheet of plain paper.

Spread some green paper, the same size as the display board, on the floor and invite the children to paint the path they followed. Create some features, such as trees, fences and a pond, using a range of textured materials and paint techniques (see activity 2). Use small scraps of material to create people and animals. Glue the finished features on to the map in the appropriate places along the walk. Print captions dictated by the children, such as ‘dog barking’ and ‘ducks quacking’, and add these to the map. Hang the finished map on the display board and add a yellow border.

Drape a cloth over a table in front of the display board and arrange a selection of sound-related resources on it. Encourage children to explore the resources freely.

Suggested resources

Display board; white paper; green backing paper; yellow border paper; collage materials; glue; sound boxes (see activity 3); maps; items relating to hearing such as hearing aids, Dictaphone, battery-operated tape or CD recorder and so on; ‘sound lotto’ game; books such as Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin JR (Henry Holt) and Roar! A Noisy Counting Book by Pamela Duncan Edwards (Harper Collins).

1 Exploring sounds

Create a sound recording of outdoor sounds

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Behaviour and Self-control

Development matters: show care and concern for others, for living things and the environment (30-50 months); have an awareness of the boundaries set, and of behavioural expectations in the setting (40-60 months).

Early learning goal: consider the consequences of their words and actions for themselves and others.

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