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Sound has the potential to be linked with particular feelings. This is an activity that could form the basis of overnight or weekend project work.

Set it up

Tell your students that this activity is about sound and how it affects us and our feelings. As such, ask them to take a moment to revise language they know for talking about feelings. You might need to teach some of these words and phrases yourself, so think yourself about what language you use for talking about how something makes you feel. Here we are also talking about the experience – our memories or thoughts about a particular sound or soundscape.

Some sample language

Feelings: happy, sad, emotional, ecstatic, depressed, joyful, …

Phrases: It makes me feel … (happy/sad/excited) / When I hear it I … (remember/think/feel) / It is a sound of … (fun/danger/happiness)

Running order

1. Tell your students that you are going to play a sound effect that had a particular impact on you or that makes you feel a certain way. You might choose to reveal before playing what the sound is, but this is not necessary.

2. As your students listen, ask them to speculate what they sound is and what its significance is.

3. Play the sound. Here are some of my own sounds, which you can use, but it is far better to record your own.

4. Give your students a time limit for writing down what they think and then give them the opportunity to work in pairs or small groups to check what they have written.

5. From each pair or groups of students take one suggestion and write it up on the board. Use these phrases as the basis of some language work, for example focusing on spelling, word order or choice of words.

6. Dictate a few phrases about the sound and your feelings. Here are some sample sentences about the sound effects here. You can use the bolded language to create your own phrases.

The sound of the church bells makes me feel happy. It reminds me of the summer when I visited Sremski Karlovci.

The market was very busy. It felt quite crowded there.

When I hear the surf, I think of my summer holiday in Spain. It was a relaxing time.

7. Compare the language you have provided with the phrases your students came up with. Were there any significant similarities or differences?

8. Ask your students to choose between one and three phrases from the activity that they liked for talking about sounds and feelings


  • Ask your students to record their own sounds before the next lesson. This could be overnight, over the weekend or from one week to the next. They should record a sound that evokes a particular feeling for them.
  • In the next lesson, ask students to play each other their sounds, trying to say what they think the feelings are. Then each student reveals what feeling the sound actually made them feel.
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