Educator Resources

Analyze a Sound Recording

Download the illustrated PDF version. (PDF)



  • What is the title?
  • What do you think you will hear?

Meet the sound recording.

  • Type (check all that apply):
    Campaign Speech Policy Speech Speech to or in Congress
    Musical Performance Entertainment Press Conference
    Convention Court Arguments Testimony
    News Report Interview Discussion
    Radio Podcast Other
  • Elements (check all that apply):
    Live broadcast Narration Commentary Studio recording
    Conversation Music Sound effects Background sounds
  • What is the mood or tone?

Observe its parts.

  • List the people and topics you hear.
    • PEOPLE:
    • TOPICS:
  • Write one sentence summarizing this sound recording.

Try to make sense of it.

  • When is this sound recording from?
  • What was happening at the time in history it was created?
  • Who made it?
  • Who do you think is the intended audience?
  • How do you think the creator wanted the audience to respond? List evidence from the sound recording or your knowledge about who made it that led you to your conclusion.

Use it as historical evidence.

  • What did you find out from this sound recording that you might not learn anywhere else?
  • What other documents or historical evidence are you going to use to help you understand this event or topic?

CC0 Materials created by the National Archives and Records Administration are in the public domain.