Radio Sound Effects

Lesson 4:

Radio Sound Effects


Objective: Students will demonstrate an ability to incorporate technical elements into a performance as they write sound effect cues into their scripts and find ways to produce those sound effects in a performance.



  • Standard 7–8.T.P.6: Use imagination to inform artistic choices.
  • Standard 7–8.T.P.7: Identify appropriate stage properties and technical elements for a given production.


EU and EQs:

  • Why are sound effects important to radio drama? What about other types of performances? How does sound affect us?
  • Sound can greatly change our perception of a performance or work of art. It can affect mood, meaning, and message of an experience or work of art.


Materials needed:


Step 1:

Have students listen to 10 seconds of “Satisfied”. What was the effect of the sound effect? What did it tell you? Could you imagine something happening along with the sound? What did you imagine?


Step 2:

Discuss with the students why sound effects are important. Inform them they will need to use at least three sound effects in their radio drama. Tell them that at least one must be made with an actor’s voice.


They do not need to worry about where their sound effects are coming from at this point (manual, recorded-from internet or teacher cds) but they should write the sound effects they would like to use into their scripts.


Step 3:

For the rest of class, we will be in the computer lab. Today, you will continue working on your rough draft. Write out dialogue and decide on what sound effects you want and where they should go. When you have finished your rough draft and I have checked you off, you can start looking for sound effects. I shouldn’t see anyone searching for sound effects until after you have shown me that you have 3-4 pages of a rough draft.


Step 4:

Head over to the computer lab. Have students sign in and continue their work on their rough drafts. Remind them that they cannot start searching for sound effects until after they have completed 3-4 pages of their rough draft.

Once there are a few students done, you can post some free sound effect websites on Google Classroom for the students.

  • com
  • com
  • any others that you find


Step 4:

Have a series of checkpoints throughout the class period. (Provide warnings that you will be coming around to check that students have completed the following in ___ amount of time. Give at least 5-10-minute warnings.)


After 5-10 minutes in the lab, come around to check that they have started writing dialogue.

After 20 minutes, check that they have a page of dialogue.

After 30 minutes, check that they have two pages

After 40 minutes, they should have 3 pages of dialogue

After 50 minutes (nearing the end of class), they need to have the rough draft completed including sound effect ideas written in to the script.