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Sound Maps 
[Joseph Cornell]
Paper folded in quarters and pencils for each child

Potentially anywhere. Good placesóSkinny Woods, Hawkhill Wood, Innocent Walkway, Craigmillar Castle Park (these are all away from traffic)

The object of this activity is to focus our attention on whatís happening in the surroundings, rather than focussing on what we are doing in our surroundings. It also encourages children to use their hearing, rather than just their eyesight, in exploring their environment. Sometimes animals may be seen or heard that donít usually appear when people are running around and being noisy! Can be quite a powerful experience for some.

In a clearing, hand out the paper and pencils to each child. Encourage the children to find a space where they canít see anybody else (e.g. with their backs to each other). Ask them to open out their paper, and draw a circle where the creases meet in the middle. This circle is them. Ask them to sit very still and quietly, and to listen to the sounds around them. When they hear a sound, they should mark it with a picture or a symbol on their paper, in the direction that they heard it coming from, and near or far from their circle, depending on whether the sound is near or far away.

Younger children can sit in a circle, close their eyes, and put up a finger for each sound they hear, rather than drawing a map.

To finish, you can ask how many sounds people heard, or which was their favourite sound, etc. This exercise can be repeated in different surroundings to compare the sounds heard in each area.

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