Sounds Around Us Activities
1. What Is It?
The teacher asks the children to close their eyes. The teacher makes familiar sounds and asks the children to identify each. Examples: crushing of paper, tapping a pencil, writing on a chalkboard, clapping hands, tapping a glass, whistling, knocking on a door, etc. After a little practice, one child may make a sound while the rest of the group guesses.
2. What Do You Hear?
Choose a time when the children can hear sounds in the streets, the halls, or classrooms. The teacher then asks: “What different sounds can you hear?” Another day would be in another area.
3. Near or Far
Children may be encouraged to discriminate between sounds that are near or far away. If a siren or a moving vehicle is heard in the distance, the teacher may call attention to the way the sound changes as it comes near or far.
4. High or Low?
The ability to discriminate between high or low pitches may be distinguished by playing two notes on a piano and asking “which is higher or which is lower?” Many games can be devised and other instruments or objects can be used to demonstrate these sounds.
5. Loud or Soft
Ask the children to identify familiar sounds that are very loud and familiar sounds that are very soft like banging of a hammer, light tap, a shout, a whisper. The teacher may ask the children to make the sounds like “What sound will a big bell make?” Or “What sound will a big dog make?” or “What sound will a small puppy make?”
6. What Animal Am I?
The teacher makes the sounds associated with familiar animals (Cat, dog, mouse, kitten, duck, hen, chick, rooster, donkey, pig, cow, horse, turkey, frog), and the children name the animals. The game can be made with two lines. One line with one child makes the sound and the other line tries to guess the sound. The other line gets a chance to make the sounds.
7. What Sound DO I Make?
Let children pretend that they are various animals and ask them to make the sounds made by the animals. Examples: Pretend you are a bee or a frog or a duck. What sound do you make do you make for a bee or a frog or a duck? Add the song “Old McDonald Had a Farm” to the animal sounds.
8. Imitating Drum Beats
The teacher or the child beats on the drum a certain number of times as all the children listen. One child is called to repeat the same number of drum beats by clapping. If correct, the new leader will be the next drummer. You can later make it more complex by adding slow beats with fast beats.
9. Echo Game
The child wears a crown labeled “speaker” and stands in one corner of the room. The child wearing a crown labeled “echo” stands in the opposite corner. The “speaker” says something in a clear, natural tone. The “echo” repeats the words. Then, each child passes the crown to another.
10. You Must
This game is a variation on “Simon Says.” The children form a circle. The leader stands in the center of the circle to give directions. Whenever the child gives a direction and introduces it with “you must,” the children in the circle follows the directions given. Children ignore the directions if “you must” is not said. If this occurs, the child is out of the game. Examples: “You must walk forward” or “You must hop on one foot.”
11. Bring Me
The teacher will say someone’s name and then say, “Bring me the chalk or book or something blue.” The child will then proceed to bring that item. However, if the teacher says, “Bring me the window or door,” then the child sits quietly without moving.
12. Listen Carefully
This activity gives practice to simple directions with crayons. Examples: Draw a red line near the top of your page or draw a blue cat in the middle of your page or use a yellow crayon and make a round circle near the bottom of your page. Later, you can add other directions like “put a black mark in the round circle.”
13. Who Has The Bell?
One child is selected by the teacher to be the listener. The teacher will go around the room, place the bell on a child’s lap, and go to the front of the room and say: Ring the bell! Who has the bell?” The listener has three (3) guesses and if the child guesses correctly, then the child who rang the bell becomes the listener.
Suggestions to the Teacher:
The following practices on the part of the teacher are recommended for improving listening:
– Arrange seats so that all listeners can easily see and hear everybody who will speak.
– See that the room and the seats are comfortable.
– Be a good listener to children. They are great imitators.
– Talk with children about ideas they have shared with you and demonstrating that you have listened.
– Help the children develop standards for effective listening — a code for good listeners or a set of listening manners.
– Be sure that listening experiences are an outgrowth of the broader program built around the children’s interests.
– Provide the necessary background of experience for the children to understand what they are to hear.
– Create interest in what children are to listen for.
– Emphasize listening to the end.