This week, Rowan group have been using their listening skills to sound map the woods. They began by finding themselves a comfortable spot to settle down in. On a piece of paper, they drew a symbol in the middle to represent themselves and the compass points around the edge (each time we put out our boundary markers at the start of the session, we mark out the the compass points, using cues from nature to help us). We had already listened to some of the woodland sounds as a group and discussed the shape of the sound waves we could hear, drawing them in the air with our hands. Each time the children heard a sound, they would record it on their sheet in the direction it was coming from by drawing the sound wave and labelling it. A range of sounds were recorded from the tweeting of birds and blowing of wind through the trees to the east of the wood to the barking of dogs and wailing of sirens to the south-west of the woodland where it meets the urban sprawl beyond. Kaci and Kyrstal chose to make some sounds of their own to see if the other children could map out where they were sat in the woods.
Sound mapping is a good way to encourage children to engage their senses and really focus in on the sounds of nature around them and where these sounds begin to be overtaken by the sounds of people and industry. Leah said she had found it easier to listen in to the sounds and work out where they were coming from when she closed her eyes.