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Sound Map

Sketching songs, sirens, and other sounds, students will sharpen their observations and interpretations of the environment around them. A sound map helps us become more aware of the sounds in our environment. It's a fun way to record observations and compare our environments.

This is a recommended pre-visit activity to Science World at TELUS World of Science.


  • Observe and interpret sounds from their local environment.
    Classify sounds as natural or artificial.


  • paper and drawing materials
    indoor or outdoor space

Key Questions

  • Which sounds are produced by humans and which are natural sounds? Did you hear the same things as your partner?

What To Do

  1. Spread the students out around the space you’re using.
  2. Have each student mark an X in the middle of their paper to indicate where they’re sitting.
  3. Set a timer for five minutes. During this time, no talking!
  4. Students record the sounds they hear around them, drawing or describing on their paper where the sounds are coming from. They can use doodles to represent the sounds, or short words or letters.
  5. Have the students work with a partner and compare “maps”. 


  • What do you think the environment would sound like if there were no people around? Draw a sound map that takes out any human-associated noise.

Other Resources

Science World Resources | Full Unit | Urban Wildlife
Science World Resources | Full Unit | Sound
Science World Workshop | Global Soundscapes
The Exploratorium | Explore: Activities | Listening | Listen: Making Sense of Sound | Online Activities