- Age Range
- Activity description
- Before the activity
- Analysis and Follow-up Activity
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To facilitate participants to listen closely to a natural place and to appreciate its diversity and beauty of sound. The activity is very useful at the beginning of a nature walk or drive to help set the tone of calmness needed to avoid disturbing one’s surroundings.
Children of all ages and adults
Outdoors in a peaceful natural setting away from human activity
All, but especially Social Studies, Music, Biology, and Religious Studies
Std. VI Chapter 13 14 15
Std. V Chapter 8 9 10
This activity involves being silent in a quiet natural place in order to practice using the sense of hearing to observe and appreciate the sounds of birds, frogs, insects, other animals, and the wind on plants.
Before the activity
Classroom topics can be about the awesome diversity of nature or about the inspiration and influence nature can have on musical composition and on spiritual well-being. For example the topic-selected aspects in African religious heritage: African concept of god, spirits, and ancestors. (Secondary School Christian Religious Education Syllabus section 8.0)
1. Take the group of participants to a quiet, natural place away from the hustle and bustle of the school or their workplace.
2. Ask them to sit down, get comfortable, and close their eyes.
3. In a subdued voice, tell them, “We are all going to be quiet and listen to the sounds around us. We will relax and enjoy the natural orchestra and breathe deeply to help us to relax and listen better. We will try to remember each sound so that we will be able to later repeat that sound with our own voices.”
4. Tell them that you are going to be silent with them for one full minute. Count the minute.
5. After the minute, gently ask them to open their eyes.
6. Ask each person how many sounds they heard. Ask if anyone would like to repeat a sound they liked.
7. Ask everyone to try to repeat that sound. Continue to ask others to volunteer sounds they heard, and get the other participants to repeat it. Count the different sounds heard.
8. Finally, ask everyone to make a sound they liked all at once.
9. Finish by asking how they felt during this activity. Does getting close to nature make a difference to how one feels?
Analysis and Follow-up Activity
1. Ask participants to make up a piece of music using the sounds they heard.
2. Ask the participants to consider the changes in the sounds throughout a day; what if the activity was done at dawn or at dusk or just before or after rain?
3. Ask participants to try the activity with their families in a natural place near home and to return the next day with a list of the various sounds heard.