What sounds can you hear in Nature?

By Jon Attwood

The Basic Idea

A great activity for encouraging quiet and reflective time in nature.

Take your group outside in to a natural space and get them to sit and quietly listen to sounds and if taking this further then write these down or draw them. Get everyone to discuss what they heard.

Lead your group in to a natural space that is not dominated by loud human made sounds.

Discuss with the group that they will need to sit separately and quietly and focus on the different range and maybe count the number of sounds they can hear. With younger or fidgety groups it will be worth being directive in getting individuals to sit apart in a special spot where they can not interact with each other.

On a signal from you start listening for at least a few minutes in silence. This can be pushed to a longer period with calm groups or when groups have done this before.

On a final signal get everyone to come back and sit in a circle and individually go round to get feedback from each person. Discuss the balance of natural and human made sounds and why this is so for the space you are in.

How to take it even further or make it more challenging

Sound Mapping

Give your group paper and a pencil and ask them to draw an x in the middle of the piece of paper.This represents where they are sat.

When sitting and listening ask them to draw or write the sounds they hear in the location and direction compared to where they are sat.

Either show them examples or discuss that they can draw a picture of a bird to represent bird song or a wavy, spiky or similar line to represent it.