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This content is taken from the The British Film Institute (BFI) & Into Film's online course, Teaching Literacy Through Film. Join the course to learn more.

Writing with sound

Once you’ve created your Force of Nature story, you can develop your sound ideas further by creating a soundtrack either live with pupils or by recording sound into your computer.

To begin, read the opening paragraph of your story aloud and record it on your phone. Connect your phone to your computer and import the sound file into either Garageband (Mac and iPad) or Audacity (PC). Your sound will be contained within a single track or layer, and you can add multiple additional layers for music and sound effects. You will find a guide to Garageband below. For Audacity tutorials, please visit www.manual.audacityteam.org

Garageband contains a wide range of built-in sound effects, and is available for Mac and iPad. You can import sound effects into Audacity from royalty-free websites. It’s important to remember not to use sound effects that don’t belong to you. As we have seen, it is easy to create your own sound effects and there’s a wide range of royalty-free content available on the Internet, such as this excellent site created by Alan McKinney: www.zapsplat.com

If you have limited or no access to technology in your classroom, you can still complete this task with students through a live performance. You can plan the sound effects in advance and have a number of groups perform them live, while one child reads the opening paragraph of the story. You can use your phone to record the performance and play it back on screen. We will be learning more about Record and Playback in Week 4.

Once mastered, Garageband and Audacity can also be used to create podcasts with images, practise reading (lovely for sharing favourite books with friends or family to listen to), create audiobooks, rehearse a play, speak and listen to foreign languages, or record voiceovers or adverts.

If you enjoy working with technology, you could take your skills of bringing a story to life even further by creating a photo story with sound animation. Aardman offers a range of animation kits that include sound effects.

If you have recorded some original writing which you have illustrated with sound, please post your work to our Padlet wall

If you enjoyed this week and would like to work further with sound, we have attached below a guide to creating soundtracks in Garageband and two additional sound resources, recently created by Into Film for use in Primary or Secondary music teaching.

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This article is from the free online course:

Teaching Literacy Through Film

The British Film Institute (BFI)

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