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Create a Sound Map – listen to the world around you

By The Aloha Team

A Lanakila camper leaning against a wooden fence sketching in a notebook.

Even if you are outside a lot of the time, many of us don’t stop very often to just listen to the world around you in a purposeful way. A sound map is a cool way to catalog the sounds of your environment.

You will need:

  • Markers, crayons or colored pencils
  • A piece of paper.

To make your sound map: This can be done on your own or with a friend

  1. Find a place anywhere in your house, front step, backyard, park, or anywhere outside and sit comfortably.
  2. Sit and listen to the world around you. Focus on hearing all of the sounds for a minute or two before you begin to draw what you hear.
  3. Draw a map of the sounds you hear. What is the sound? Where is it coming from?
  4. Share your map with your friend and compare what you each heard.

Questions to think about:

  • What kinds of things did you hear?
  • Would you have heard them if you weren’t focusing on listening?
  • Were there sounds you didn’t expect to hear?
  • What made it difficult to listen to the world around you?
  • How would this change if you did it at a different time? Different place in your house?
  • How important is hearing to animals?
  • Is it more important for predators or prey?