Friday, 28 January 2011

Sounds to Inspire Writing

I am three weeks into a course being run by The Consultants-E called mLearning. In the UK I guess most of us would call it Handheld learning but in the current "down with ICT" message that I, at least , am getting from the Government I think it will be the only way for schools to go over the next ten years.

The course itself has been really interesting so far, we have been exploring what it is, our own contexts and experimenting with various techniques.

During the first week there was an exercise on sound and one of the delegates introduced the idea of a story in a sequence of sounds. It seems a very obvious way of using mobile phones, mp3 or 4 player in the primary classroom. I have taken the idea and created a few MP3s that could be downloaded and used on mobile devices to inspire writing.

How I would use them:

•    Listen once
•    Listen a second time and note down key words or phrases linked to the sounds
•    If necessary listen a third time filling out their notes
•    Pupils either work alone, in small groups to create a story
•    If pupils are working in a foreign language I may ask them to prepare to tell their story
•    If pupils were working in their own language I may get them to work in groups to make a “choose your own path through the story” in a wiki.

This exercise could be as easy or advanced as required, pupils could use only the main sounds and develop a story using them, or use every sound in sequence to make up a story, or in any other way a teacher can imagine!

Each sound files has a sound that does not really belong, e.g. the jungle has a cat’s meow and the shopping event has robotic sounds, some pupils may enjoy weaving them into a story if they hear them, others may choose to ignore the odd sounds, it really does not matter.

If you try them out please let me know if it worked, how it turned out, and if possible, share your pupil’s writing.

Jungle at Dusk
Cut Down a Tree
Shopping Event


Pete said...

Hi Carol,

There used to be a couple of books based on this idea:

Maley, A. & Duff, A. (1975). Sounds Interesting. Cambridge: CUP
Maley, A. & Duff, A. (1979). Sounds Intriguing. Cambridge: CUP

I can remember using them a bit in the late eighties :-)


Pete MacKichan

Carolrb said...

Thanks Pete
Clearly not an original idea, but still a good idea for use with mobile phones etc. Did the books have CDs of sounds that could be used in this way?