It’s a simple activity – so small and easy and quick that it’s practically a crime not to do it.
Play the audio file. Students will hear 10 sounds, more or less piled on top of each other, within the space of about 12-16 seconds. You might hear a bat squeaking, doors slamming, cows mooing, a child laughing.
In pairs or groups students will attempt identify and write down as many of the sounds as possible. Make it a competition. See which group can correctly identify the most sounds. Play the file several times. And give students a lot of leeway in their answers.
The beauty is that students will hear all sorts of things that are NOT in the sound pile. Or they will interpret sounds wrong. This is great, because they will write these things down, thus creating more language practice and stepping stones into real conversation: You heard what?
Below you’ll find audios for 2 different Sound Piles, and for each there are audios of two different speeds.
Key to Sound Pile 1: kiss, coining spinning and coming to a stop, person whistling (an eerie tune!), dog barking, drink being poured, applause, motorbikes rumbling, train crossing bells, crow cawing, someone sawing wood
Key to Sound Pile 2: tennis ball hit with racquet, elephant trumpeting, harp, siren wailing, church bells, rifle shot, alarming clock ringing, women (Kevin’s mum) screaming, birds singing, toilet flushing
Thank you very much, Kevin. It’s a great activity and I’m definitely going to use it with my students and share with my colleagues as well. Valentyna Tumasova.
Thanks, Valentina. To tell you the truth, I never actually used it myself. but it could be fun, something to do once. –Kevin