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Topic of Study: Instruments of the Orchestra, Grade One

Vicki Kanne

Music Department

William Byrne Elementary School Burnsville, MN


Small Group ____ Whole Group ____ Partner ____ Individual ____

What do students need to know or be able to do?

Students will be able to identify sixteen different instuments (timbres) of the orchestra. Students will be able to categorize each of the instruments by family name: woodwinds, brass, string, or percussion.

Instructional Strategies:

This unit will take 4 days of 50 minute periods

Daily topics will be:

Day 1- Woodwind Family





Day 2- Brass Family



french horn


Day 3- String Family




double bass

Day 4- Percussion Family



snare drum


Resources and Materials:

Bombar pictures of the instruments of the orchestra

Cheryl Lavender- Music instrument Bingo with cards and cassette

xerox pictures of instruments from MacMillian "Music and You"


assorted instruments

video "Once Upon a Sound"


Lecture will include: Looking at pictures of each instrument family, discussion of sound production and similarities of instruments within each family, names each instrument, will sometimes include seeing and playing the instrument.

Video: will provide 10 minutes of information for each family. shows how each instument looks and sounds.

Color Page: shows each instrument with its family and a poem about each instrument


WORKSHEETS: 4 worksheets, one for each family


Find the strings and color them blue

Find the pegs and color them red


Find the mouthpiece color it ______

Find the valves or slides and color them ______.


Find the double-reeds and color them _____.

Find the single reeds and color them _____.

Find which instrument produces the highest sound, circle it.

Find the instrument that produces the lowest tones, draw a box around it.


Draw any of the percussion instuments that you see in the room. Draw at least five of them.

Partner Activity: Take a packet of 16 instrument pictures and categorize them by family. when they finish there will be 4 instruments in each of the four envelopes.

Instrument Bingo: Listen to each instrument played in random order to compete for prizes. This will be done with partners.


Categorize instruments not found in the orchestra:

Students must look at instruments like the saxophone and decide if it is a brass or woodwind instrument. Other instruments may include: banjo, vibraphone, guitar, dulcimer, accordian, harmonica, recorder, bugle. Some of these instruments could be on hand for exploration and manipulation.

Key Indicators of Student Learning:

For visual learners the worksheets will show that students can identify new vocabulary like pegs, and valves, by colorin gthe correct areas of the worksheet. The b-level sorting activity will be assessed by having 4 of the correct instruments in each envelope.

For the auditory learners the recorded example of different instrumental timbres will let them listen and then respond orally on what they are hearing in the music bingo.

The video has a short recap of each instrument sound and picture, and asks for the student to respond orally on what timbre is being heard.

For the tactile learners, they will be able to touch and explore selected instruments and report orally on what category they would place the instruments not found in the orchestra.


Complete all of the following:

1. Watch all four videos. Notice what the instruments look and sound like, and be prepared to identify them at the end of the video. This will be done orally.

2. Complete the color sheet on each family. Listen to the poem of each instrument.

3. Listen to lectures on each instrument within the four families and take part in the discussions about sound production and physical make-up of the instruments.