Mapping the Sounds Around You


What sounds do you hear around you? How many different sounds can you identify? This activity asks you to listen to sounds in your environment and record them in a sound map. 

Download Lesson

Before you get started
  • Collect all materials listed below. 
  • You will be asked to spend some time outside with safe distance from other people. Check in with a family member before going outside. 
  • Map legend: a visual explanation of the symbols used on a map 

Find a safe place outside to sit or stand for at least 5 minutes, ideally 10 minutes or more.  You can also complete this activity sitting inside near an open window. Once you have chosen a spot, listen carefully to the sounds around you.


Fill out your sound map. Follow the directions on the worksheet. If you can’t print out the document, refer to the directions and create your soundmap on a piece of paper.


Now that you have completed your sound map, write the answers to the following questions:

  • What were some of the sounds you noticed? Did any sounds surprise you?
  • What were some of the sounds of nature you heard? Have you noticed or heard these nature sounds before doing this activity?
Student Notes
  • Prompt One: Take your soundmap outside the next day and see if you can recognize the same sounds. Circle the sounds you heard again. See if you can add new sounds to your map. 
  • Prompt Two: Look at your map again and identify which sounds are natural and which are sounds made by humans. Describe which sounds you identified and discuss them with a family member. Find a spot where you can hear nature and see if you hear more sounds from nature. 
  • Making a Sound Recording: Make an audio sound recording on your phone. Make 10, 30-second sound bites of different sounds in and around your home.
Notes for Teachers/Parents
  • This activity supports students in practicing reflection
  • This activity supports multimodal learning and sensory learning
  • This activity supports the development of relationships to food and the land.

Authored by Raquel Vigil