Big Plans: YEAR 1 - Media Arts - Explore2

Big Cuz and Little J are very excited that Sissy is coming to play with them over the weekend. They both see Sissy as their special friend. Big Cuz wants to play a ‘Sisters Only’ talent quest just for she and Sissy, and Little J plans an obstacle course for all to play. Eventually, Little J, Big Cuz and Sissy come together to test their skills on the obstacle course.

Explore - Use media technologies to capture and edit images, sounds and text for a purpose

Theme - SOUND

After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 13 ‘Big Plans’, engage students with the following activities to support their understanding about how natural sound and sound effects recorded and are artificially made, and used in the production.

In respect to Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 13 ‘Big Plans’ revisit with students the three key elements of story production:

  1. story arc (plot): beginning, middle and end, and what action happens in each section?
  2. characters: who is the hero, villain, sage, facilitator?
  3. setting: what scenes/backgrounds are used for the action to take place?

Re-watch Episode 13 Big Plans with the sound turned off. Have students suggest what is missing that usually assists the audience to understand the story. Direct students to consider the element of sound, and have them focus on how different types of sound are produced in media productions:

  1. voice (dialogue, narration, etc.)
  2. music (title and background)
  3. location (natural sound)
  4. sound effects (artificially created)

Replay the episode to have students identify how each of the four types of sound are evident.  Prepare a worksheet or Quizlet with selected scenes of the episode listed and have students decide which sound type was used for each scene.

Introduce the term ‘Foley artist’, as the person who makes sound effects for film. Ask students to predict how the Foley artist produces sound. As a class, watch a selection of video clips for the ways a

Foley artist produces a sound -

  1. Kids Do Movie Sound Effects 
  2. Make Sound Effects, Parents 
  3. The Foley Artists: Los Angeles Times 
  4. Foley Artists: How Movie Sound Effects Are Made 
  5. Introduction to Foley and Sound Effects for Film 
  6. Animal Sounds on Didgeridoo Demonstrated by Ryka Ali 

Calling the Storm - A visualisation game exploring sound.

Seat all the students close together on the floor in a tight huddle. Choose a moment when there is not a lot of background noise from outside the room.

Have students sit close together and lean into the centre… and to repeat the demonstrated actions to make a rainstorm appear.

Ask students to hold their thumbs to their fingertips and rub them together. There should be a gentle swishing noise.

Say: ‘I hear the wind sighing, here comes the rain.’

Ask students to rub their two palms together.

Say: ‘Here come the first raindrops.’                                                                                                                      

Ask students to move to a very gentle pattering of their hands on their thighs.

Say: ‘They are getting louder!’

Ask students to patter a bit harder.

Say: ‘Here comes some thunder!’

Ask students to stamp their feet, getting harder and harder.

Say: ‘Lightning noises’

Ask students to make random lightning noises by clapping their hands and shouting ‘Bang!’, ‘Crash!’ Continue this noise for a few seconds.

Say: ‘Oh, the storm is passing. The lightning stops.’

Ask students to stop clapping their hands and shouting ‘Bang!’, ‘Crash!

Say: ‘The thunder dies away.’

Ask students to slow and gradually stop their thumping feet.

Say: ‘The rain eases off.’

Ask students to slow down the pattering sound on their thighs until it is just their fingertips.

Say: ‘The wind sighs.’

Ask students to return to rubbing their palms.

Say: ‘And the bush is quiet again.’

Ask students to rub their fingers – stop – and hold the moment silently for at least a second.

Talk about what the students would hear, smell and feel after the rain, e.g. the birds chirping and the grasses rustling, and a fresh cool feeling. Have students imagine being in the forest, or outback, or city after that storm and ask the class about the different sounds the students would hear. Practise making a storm a couple of more times, and have students suggest ways of making the sounds of the storm using found materials, and other actions.

Read the picture book, Big Rain Coming, by Katrina Germein, and view the video animation of it.

Have students create and sequence of sounds for the story and record them, using Audacity or similar software. Play the sound track made by the students over the (silent) video clip.

Have students evaluate which sounds were successful and reflect on which needed more planning and work. Also, have students assess their skills of timing aligned to the action, and the variety of sounds, and the authenticity of sound, etc.