Through these experiences, children explore the sounds of nature and imitate the sounds using their own voices and instruments they make in class.
This is one of 11 activities that can be found in PLT’s Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood guide. To get the activity, attend a training either in person or online and receive PLT’s Early Childhood guide. Below are some supporting resources for this activity.
Download the copyright free student pages that are included with this activity:
Family and Friends Page
Spanish Student Page:
Familia y amigos
Engage students in real-world applications of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education.
Try these STEM Connections for this PLT activity:
Expand your students’ learning and imaginations. Help students meet their reading goals while building upon concepts learned in this activity with the following children’s book recommendations:
Try a simple variation of this activity to engage children in the outdoors at home. Download this fun and easy-to-do family activity.
Every month we carefully select new tools and resources that enhance PLT’s lessons. These include educational apps, videos, posters, interactive websites, careers information, and teacher-generated materials. Browse a chronological listing below:
A Listening Walk
The Jeffers Foundation, whose mission is to foster environmental stewardship through education, has created several instructional videos for children-at-home on various environmental topics. For example, in A Listening Walk, children can make a waterproof and reusable mat for sitting outdoors, collect acorns and other nuts with empty bottles, or harness their listening skills for nature sounds. This video pairs well with PLT’s activity called Sounds Around. Also, be sure to check out the children’s book The Listening Walk by Paul Showers, and more ideas for young learners to explore sounds around their neighborhood by Karen Christenson, an elementary school teacher with Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota who uses PLT to help form the core of her curriculum because, “it has such vibrant, engaging activities for both children and adults.”
The free Disneynature Explore application for iPads and iPhones combines an augmented reality experience with animal behavior gameplay to encourage young students (grades preK-3) and their families to get outside and connect with nature. In the app, 3D images of animals appear in the camera’s viewer, providing students with “wild adventures” in their own backyard. For example, students can see their surroundings through a butterfly’s eyes, follow tracks with a bear to find its cub, and crack a nut like a chimpanzee.
Kea: Learn Birds Through Play
Kea: Learn Birds Through Play is a free mobile app that turns the process of learning to recognize birds into a game. The app has games for beginners and seasoned bird watchers to recognize birds and their calls, and includes an extensive species database. Download the Kea app designed for both iPhone and iPad.
Early Childhood Education
Are you looking to tap into the Early Childhood education arena? Visit All Education Schools’ clearinghouse of early childhood education resources to explore professional organizations, licensing and credentials, reliable research, educator blogs, and more – all related to Early Childhood. Whether you’re just embarking on an early childhood education career or already work with children, you’ll find plenty of useful information.
Let’s Play Outside Literacy Cards for ELLs
Check out this preschool picture book (literacy cards) of outdoor words and actions, created by the Collaborative Leadership Fellows Program at the University of Minnesota Rochester. The cards feature outdoor play action words such as “draw,” “climb,” and “jump” in multiple languages. The words are also depicted using an image and the language translations are available for English, Spanish, Chinese, Cambodian, Somali, and Arabic. The languages were selected based on high populations of individuals speaking them in the mid-western United States. Download the “Let’s Play Outside!” booklet to connect with English Language Learners (ELLs) near you!
American Acoustical Society’s Sound Resources
Check out the K-12 education resources from the American Acoustical Society. The site offers current news stories about acoustics; videos and animations exploring the basics of sound; a poster set with the sound activities; career profiles of acousticians; and a gallery of interesting sounds from nature, animals, insects, and instruments.
Sign Language Cards
Use these flash cards using American Sign Language as a quick reference to learn to sign a few environmental terms.
A free app that can be downloaded onto Apple and Android devices. AllTrails helps users to get out and discover the outdoors. Use it to plan a national park visit, find a hiking path near home, or map a new trail of your own! AllTrails can help you find local places to run, hike, bike, fish, and more in the outdoors. You can even upload photos and images to trails you create.
A free app that can be downloaded onto Apple devices. This story production tool can be used to create a personal story and enhance it by adding your own drawings, audio, and animation. The illustrations can be moved, expanded, reduced, or rotated with touch, and you can record your own voice as narrator.
Learn Sign Language
Learn sign language by using a free app that can be downloaded on Apple or Android devices. This app introduces users to the world of communication by sign language. You learn from video clips, choosing from a wide variety of topic areas, including weather, colors, animals, shapes, feelings, family words, and more. Other free language apps are also available (Spanish, French, Italian, German, etc.)
Epic! For Educators
Are you looking for new literature connections to support your favorite PLT lessons? This growing Epic! online library offers thousands of picture books, chapter books, early readers, and even nonfiction books (think Common Core Connections!) that elementary teachers can access free of cost. Registered users receive unlimited access to books and customized recommendations for readers’ age levels and interests. Epic! is available for iPads, iPhones, and Android devices.
Nature Maestro® App Series
With Nature Maestro®, sound recordist and composer Dennis Hysom is your guide. Use this series of applications to explore sounds in nature. You might compose a soundscape for the rainforest, build a nature scene using audio paired with imagery, and discover fun facts about animals all along the way. Immerse yourself in these biomes to compose and share creative soundscapes and then share them with others.