| RATIONALE | TIME
& LOCATION | BACKGROUND | PROCEDURE | EXTENSIONS
enhance spatial awareness and sensitivity to aural
intimations of nature.
Awareness & Connection Through Sounds (ACTS) is
designed so that participants can develop awareness of their environment
using their sense of hearing. In a technological world where ears
are seemingly flooded with endless bustles, individuals have often
become inattuned and unable to differentiate sounds. Silence has
become a foreign, luxurious sensation. This activity offers
participants the opportunity to reacquaint their hearing to the
different sensations surrounding an environment.
TIME REQUIRED: ACTS could be completed
successfully in as little as 30-45 minutes. It could also be extended
to allow time to participate in small group reflection.
Unlike many neural signals initiated by receptors of the body, the auditory
stimuli travel bilaterally. The sound stimuli reach the receptors at
different times. The ear closest to stimuli receives and sends the
signals to the brain earlier than the other ear. Organisms endowed with the sense of
audition compare the slight differences in time and intensity of the
sound to determine the location of the sound.
- Choose a site (e.g. natural reserve, park, football field, etc.) big enough
to accommodate all participants sitting at least 20 feet apart.
- Ask the participants to choose an area where they would like to sit QUIETLY for 20 MINUTES and
document the sounds they hear.
- The paper (left-hand page of the notebook, if using a
notebook) on which the participants will record their observations represents
their environment, with the CENTER of the paper representing the
location of the participant within the environment.
For 20 MINUTES, each participant will quietly listen
to the sounds in the environment and represent on paper where the
sounds ORIGINATE in reference to the participant, what the SOURCES of
the sounds are (e.g. bird, cricket, car, leaves), and the QUALITY of
the sounds (e.g. loud, light, dull).
The ORIGIN and SOURCE of sounds must be represented on paper as
drawings, icons or symbols. Participants can use different colors to
represent the QUALITY of the sounds.
On a separate sheet of paper (right-hand page of the
notebook facing the drawing), participants will inscribe their observations.
After 20 minutes, allow participants additional time
to reflect or bring
their observations to closure. If additional time is given, the
facilitator should announce how much additional time will be allotted.
After completing their documentation, the facilitator
should gather all participants to an area within the observed
environment and encourage them to share their documentations, representations,
and/or inscriptions to a classmate or the group. Each participant should be given the
opportunity to share his or her experience. Participants are also
encouraged to communicate any emotions and/or impressions they feel
after experiencing each sound (e.g. fearful, reminiscent, peaceful).
Comparison and contrast of sounds they have just encountered to more
common sounds may be a good way to ease their discomfort in sharing
This activity should be repeated several times in the
same or different environments to enhance aural awareness and instill
the participantsí acoustical sensitivity. For example, if the class
is spending the night at a reserve, they could repeat the exercise
during the morning, midday, and at night.
|Language Arts/Literature: For
any piece of literature, instruct the participants to be sensitive to
poetic devices that utilize sound to appeal to them (e.g.
onomatopoeia, alliteration, assonance, consonance, rhythm, etc.).|
Arts: Ask participants to listen to music,
and have them distinguish the different instruments or
sounds they hear. If they are unable to name the instrument, let them
describe the sound.
studying different historical periods, ask participants to imagine the
sounds that one would or would not have heard during a time period (e.g.
Medieval, Renaissance, World War I, World War II, Industrial Revolution,
Science: Supplement ACTS with lessons on waves,
frequency, and harmony.|
|pen or pencil (colored pens or pencils are strongly
|several sheets of paper (spiral notebook is recommended)|