Guess the Sound

Identify the sound quizzes are a fun vocabulary learning activity for home or classroom learning.

Sounds from around the Home
Sounds of Summer
Sounds of Halloween Quiz
Street Sounds
Animal Sounds

How to play

Tell learners that you are going to play a number of sounds which they must try to identify and write down. Play your set of sounds through from beginning to end, and then after a short pause play them again. Ask how many sounds the learners think they have identified. If you're in a classroom, let them swap notes with their neighbours to see if they can fill any gaps in their list and be ready to play any individual sounds again that have caused puzzlement.

Now it’s time to give the answers. Play the sounds one by one and ask the learners to identify each sound. Instead of just giving the answer, I like to use a picture of the sound source because although they might recognise the sound, they might not know the right words needed to describe it. The pictures help to confirm whether they have the correct answer and gives you the opportunity to give them the necessary vocabulary.

Where to find sound effects

The YouTube Audio Library is a wonderful resource for locating short sound effects. There are also plenty of apps and browser extensions which allow you to download standard YouTube videos as MP3 files.

There are also plenty of websites which have thousands of royalty free sound effects which you can download and use. For example, SoundBible and freesound.

If you need to edit a sound effect for length, then Audacity is a free, open source sound editor which is relatively easy to use. Or you can even do simple editing online with a site like AudioTrimmer.