S.O.S.: Surround Sound

Welcome to week 9 of our Spotlight on Strategies Challenge!  Our new S.O.S series to provide help, tips, and tricks for integrating DE media into your curriculum.

Surround Sound
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Hearing a few notes of sound can transport us back in time to an important moment or take us to faraway places that we find comforting. According to Fast Company, “There’s no doubt about it, sound is immensely powerful. And yet 83% of all the advertising communication we’re exposed to daily (bearing in mind that we will see two million TV commercials in a single lifetime) focuses, almost exclusively, on the sense of sight. That leaves just 17% for the remaining four senses. Think about how much we rely on sound. It confirms a connection when dialing or texting on cell phones and alerts us to emergencies.”  Essentially sound is an under utilized tool/resource.  By taking away the the sense of sight for a moment and allowing students to focus on the sounds themselves, students can use their creative imaginations to visualize situations and travel back in time and all across the globe.


  • As students enter the classroom have the sound effect, “Military: Battle : Large 19Th Century Battle: Gunfire Cannons Horses Ambiance Sword Weapon” playing in the background.
  • When students take their seat, have them close their eyes and visualize the situation.
  • With the sound still looping, have them open their eyes and answer the following questions
    • What do you hear?
    • What do you know about what you are hearing?
    • How do these sounds make you feel?
    • How do you feel the people in this situation are feeling?
    • What do you wonder about this event?
  • This activity will allow you to assess your students to listen for misconceptions and background knowledge.
  • Follow this activity with discussing the important components of war. Compare this sound to sounds they may hear in a current battle. Explain that even though this was hundreds of years ago, we are still facing similar feelings and disagreements.


  • Select a sound effect that matches your current curriculum (forest ambiance, cars crashing, etc)
  • Loop and play sound effect as students enter the class.
  • Have students close their eyes, visualize the situation, and answer the questions above.

You can take the challenge by:

  • Implementing this strategy and letting us know how it went by posting a comment below.
  • Using this strategies in your grade level planning discussions and/or professional development and reporting your events. (Remember we consider an event anytime 3 or more educators gather together… doesn’t have to be in a computer lab… could be sitting around the lunch table)
  • Photocopying the flier and distributing it in your colleague’s boxes and/or posting it to your own BulleDEN board.

For more information on how we are shining the light on digital integration through this weekly blog series click here.  So see other strategies in this series click here.

For a direct link to all the PDFs in this series click here


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