Soundscape Maps

Students listen to the soundscape around them, then diagram and map the soundscape using symbols, different colors, and other ways to graphically represent sound. This activity enhances students’ perception of sound and brings them into contact with place. There is significant ecological information contained in the sounds of a place. Just as radio frequencies must be calibrated so as not to interfere with each other, so too with natural sound. If two birds sing at the same frequency, their voices will interfere with each other. By using different frequencies and timing, birds can share the same acoustic environment without interfering with each other. Sound frequency also has implications. Both very high and very low sounds are difficult to locate. Low-frequency sound is not as easily absorbed and can be heard farther away. Making a soundscape map will tune students in to another layer of information in nature, offering more to explain and wonder about. It also challenges students to describe novel phenomena in creative ways.
Scroll to Top