Kerr-ching! The use of sound in the classroom (except teachers’ and pupils’ voices) is often overlooked. Almost everywhere that our pupils go they are used to hearing things and sound is used to reinforce messages all over the place. Try watching a TV game show and listening out for the sounds that accompany whatever the contestents are doing.
Obviously our classrooms aren’t TV studios and our lessons aren’t gameshows, but we can use sound to reinforce what we are teaching, or just to add another dimension to some of the things we do. One possiblity is to play music to the pupils while they are working, but that is a topic for another post. What I want to talk about is using sound effects rather than long pieces of music.
I sometimes like to play games with my classes to help introduce or reinforce a topic, maybe as a starter or plenary. It might be along the lines of a TV quiz like Who Wants to be a Millionaire or Countdown, or something like a simple team head to head quiz. I want the pupils to enjoy these and find them fun so I use the interactive whiteboard to make them visually engaging and I can use sound effects to add a further dimension. Nothing complex, maybe a ‘Ding’ for a correct answer or a round of applause at the end of a round.
There are lots of sound effects freely available on the internet. I have collected a few together in Mp3 format that you can download from here (Zip file – 1.17Mb).