We had a meeting about our Senses Garden, the space in the courtyard we have beautified by adding sensory elements like flowers, plants and herbs. The children shared their understandings of the senses we use in the garden. Many noted we need our sense of sight to look at the flowers. We could smell the herbs and flowers. We can touch the leaves of the plants. Some of the herbs are edible so we can use our sense of taste. Ms. Smith asked the children to wonder about how we might use a sense of hearing. The children offered some suggestions about sounds we could hear. Butterflies ‘te-te-teee’ Every time they fly. Birds, Sparrows and blue tits, ‘chhhrr’ – Sumedha. ‘Cheep cheep’ bell ringing ‘…zizzzzznng’, motorbike ‘drowwwmmmm’, bird flying ‘pick, pick, pick’– Dayou. ‘Arkkhh-arkkhh’ birds and bell ‘dinnnnnggggg’ – Tommaso. People ‘yah yah’ and cars ‘brmmm broommmm’ – Noa. Outside noise, rain ‘tap, tap, tap’ – Arjun. ‘Quark quark’, butterflies and ducks – David. School bell – Marc-Philippe. Rain ‘zizz -zizzz- zizzzz’ and lightning ‘buowff – boff’– Maxi G. The teachers suggested we add more sound in the form of a “Sound Wall” to the garden as well.
We had read about other schools and environments where recycled materials had been used to create “Sound/Music/Banging Walls”. We thought this could be an exciting and relevant experience for our Who We Are Unit, exploring the ways we learn through our senses. We asked families to contribute any recyclable materials like old pots/pans, coffee tins, broken silverware, loose parts, etc. Dayou shared his contributions and the children thought about ways these items could be used to make sound/ music.
We shared some images of Sound Walls with the children and asked the children to consider how we might create our own in the courtyard. We took a walk in the courtyard and determined where might be a good place. The children drew their ideas for what the project might look like.
Finally, we gathered altogether on a sunny afternoon for a final check in before constructing the sound wall. The children were excited about the many different objects we would integrate into our project. Ms. Johnson, our music teacher, joined us and helped with the wire required to fasten our sound makers. As the wall grew, children experimented with the sound of wooden spoons against the many items on the wall. Some children impressed us with their rhythm as they kept the beat. Others found new ways to make different sounds. This collaborative project was extremely successful as evidenced by the children’s enthusiasm in sharing their knowledge about the sense of sound with other members of our school community. We invited other classes, teachers and administrators to visit our Sound Wall and the children articulately shared about the experience.
Photographs by Miss Rebecca Smith