Creating Foley sound

Next we are going to interpret our adjectives by creating them in sound. We will create our own sound effects using objects and surfaces.

Try out different sound effects for each picture. If you’re trying out this activity in class, bring in a range of different household items to create sounds for the pictures you have sourced, and ask pupils to verbalise what they are doing and the sounds they are making.

Here are some tips:

  • Cellophane wrap creates the sound of a roaring fire.
  • Footsteps in the snow can be created by crunching some corn-starch in a sock.
  • Wind can be created by using a bamboo cane, squeezing air out of a Ziploc bag, or turning a bicycle upside down, spinning the wheel and pressing a piece of silk against the tyre. Additionally, blowing into a microphone can produce a great wind sound.
  • If you have access to sound recording equipment, you can create the sound of the waves, using a microphone with a windjammer, by gently rubbing the top of the microphone. Alternatively, this activity provides a fantastic opportunity for a field trip to the seaside to record some live sound!

Creating Foley sound is enormous fun, and a quick internet search will reveal a host of Foley sound tips and online tutorials if you’d like to explore this further.

When using this activity in class, you could create a soundscape by grouping the students to create different elements of the sound and varying the ferocity of the wind, size of the waves or intensity of the fire.

How could you use Foley sound within your teaching setting?

If you’ve already tried this with children, what was their level of engagement?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Teaching Literacy Through Film

The British Film Institute (BFI)

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