Sound Mapping Activities for Students

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An outdoor learning lesson by Jason Camp. Good for all grades from K to 12.

How to do the Sound Mapping exercise

1. Have the students mark the middle of their paper with a stick drawing of themselves.
2. Have them mark north on their map
3. Move outside to any location and help the students get oriented with their paper in relationship to the points on a compass. It might be easier for the students to face north with their papers adjusted the
reflect that setup.
4. Make sure students are spread well away from each other.
5. For 3-5 minutes, have the students just sit quietly (no talking to each other) and listen to the world
around them. Their job is to note down either with words or quick sketches what they are sensing
with their ears – NOT their eyes. For example, if you are near a road, you might hear the bus trolley lines, or the sound of cars
travelling over a bump in the road.
6. Bring the students back together and debrief on what they were able to sense using just their ears.


1. If possible, move to a different location. Ideally, you will find one that is more quiet and repeat the exercise.
2. Ask the students to debrief in the same manner as above.
3. Ask the students how they feel. Did one location make them feel more relaxed than another?

Sound Mapping Lesson
Looking for innovative WILD ABOUT Outdoor Learning ideas.
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