'Sound Stories'

Creative Learning through Sound and Recording

Sound Stories are an innovative and creative way of engaging the imaginations of Primary and Secondary pupils, using portable sound and recording technology, as well aspects of drama.


Sound Stories provide a super-accessible but stimulating way of approaching any topic, and can form a great creative basis for research and writing - or, just a standalone fun recording exercise.


Young people today are surrounded by screen technology, and our world is visually led. Yet it is amazing how readily kids react to the creative stimulus of pure sound. Sessions start with an exciting introduction to sound effects - kids press buttons to trigger different sounds like echoey footsteps, police cars, lions roaring, glass smashing, ancient castle doors slamming shut. When asked to describe who/what they think is behind each sound, kids invariably offer a startling range of wild ideas and immediately begin to create lines of dialogue to go with the sounds. These are recorded into the computer along with the sounds, creating a dramatic mini-scene in sound, which can then be played back. This is often a hilarious exercise, and the humour and excitement serves as a great ice-breaker.


From this introduction, Sound Stories can go in any direction. Sound Stories engage hearts and minds, and can provide an unusual and exciting way of bringing subjects to life, such as (recent examples):


  • WORLD WAR II - Pupils wrote short scenes, complete with characters and sound effects, to depict different aspects of WWII as it affected Britain, such as life in an Anderson shelter, rationing and blackouts, and what goes on in an Operations Room.

  • CASTLES - Pupils hit on the idea of a Sound Story depicting Primary school kids having a tour of Cardiff Castle. As the characters were introduced to each room or feature of the castle, there was a ‘flashback’ to a medieval scene featuring characters (and sounds) from the time.


  • THE 8 WONDERS OF THE NATURAL WORLD - Pupils created short Sound Stories featuring themselves traveling back in time to visit each of the 8 wonders back in its day, complete with characters and sounds from the time.


Classrooms with access to GarageBand on iPads can also learn how to create and record their own Sound Stories. It is an excellent way of making topics more 'three dimensional' - creation of soundscapes and recorded speech leads to an immersive and exciting creative learning experience.


The whole concept is very adaptable to the needs of the school/class/project - e.g for SEN pupils, or pupils from challenging backgrounds.


Examples from previous projects can be heard below...