Draw a sound map


Use the sense of hearing to make a sound map of your school garden or local park.

  • Estimated time: 30 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors
  • School term: All year round
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): Science, Art&DT, Geography

Learning objectives

  • Use the sense of hearing as an observational tool to create a sound map
  • Enhance locational and place knowledge through mapping


Listen to bird songs on CDs or online to recognise common British bird calls.
Think about the sounds of nature that are affected by the weather such as trees rustling in the breeze, waves crashing on the shore and so on. 


  • Small wipe boards and pens 
  • Or clip boards, paper and pencils 
  • Kneelers or cushions to sit on

Step by step

  1. Have you ever thought of all the different creatures that live in the garden? We can’t always see them but if we are really quiet, we may hear them. 
  2. Find a quiet spot in the garden on your own to sit quietly. If we are all quiet we may be able to hear some of the garden creatures – from the birds in the trees, to small insects buzzing by. Even plants make sounds – their leaves moving in the wind. Listen out for people and man made sounds too.
  3. We can draw a map of these sounds. Draw yourself in the middle of your map then draw an arrow to where each sound comes from.
  4. Try to draw the actual sound so you can tell someone about it. Come back together and compare each other’s sound maps.
  5. Point out the different sounds and try to repeat a sound – and describe it, making a guess as to whether it came from a bird or animal or if it was a man made sound.

Hints & tips

  • Try closing your eyes for the first few minutes in your quiet spot, this will help you focus in on the sounds… the more you practise this the better you will be at hearing the different sounds...
  • Use this activity as part of Sensory Sensations class growing topic.

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