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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

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:

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)

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

  • Why use film to improve literacy?
    Why use film to improve literacy?

    Watch this short video to discover how and why learning through film improves literacy.

  • Foley sound
    Foley sound

    This step is an introduction to Foley art, and has a video clip with Foley artist, John Fewell.

  • Stills from The Girl and the Fox that show different shot sizes.
    Developing writing through camera shots

    Linking camera shots and positions to still images in this activity, can provide a great writing stimulus in creating narrative.

  • Record and Playback
    Record and Playback

    An introduction to the technique of Record and Playback, a simple but very effective tool for curricular learning.

  • Two images each showing samples of a shoe box set design.
    Shoebox set design

    Making a shoe box set takes your pupils on a filmmaking journey that produces literacy outcomes, and is a great tool for assessment. PDF provided.

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