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Set it up

For this activity you need to choose four sound effects and have enough pieces of paper for each of your students. It’s best if this is blank paper, but this is not essential.

A selection of four SFX is included in this activity post.

Running order

  • Make sure each of your students has a piece of paper and get them to divide it into four equal sections. It doesn’t really matter how the choose to divide it, but they should make sure there is space to write and draw in each section.
  • Ask your students to number the sections one to four. Again, it doesn’t matter exactly what order this is done in.
  • Tell your students that you are going to play four different sounds, numbered one to four. For each sound they should write or draw whatever comes to mind in the corresponding numbered section on their paper.
  • Play each sound for the same amount of time, say one minute.

Sample sounds

  • After you have played all four sounds, put your students into groups of three.
  • In each group, their task is to link the four sounds together into a narrative.
  • You can make it compulsory that they use at least one drawing or set of words from each member of their group. This will make it more challenging to link the four sections into a narrative.
  • Make sure your students know that they can and should add in any information they like to link the sounds in their story together. Perhaps streamline the task by asking them to only work in the past simple (or past simple and continuous).
  • Monitor and help students with formulating their texts as necessary.
  • If it will help, set a time limit for the writing activity. For example, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Display the final texts on the wall. Students then read all the texts and vote on the most interesting, funny or unusual.


  • After you have run this activity a few times, you could ask your students to take it in turn to choose the sound effects or even bring in their own.
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