Lesson Plan

Instrument Families of the Orchestra

Identify orchestra instruments and classify them into families.
E G.
Music Educator
Broadview Elementary School
North Lauderdale, United States
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Subjects Social Studies, Arts


Classify orchestral instruments as strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, or keyboard.


Grades 4
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 What do they have in common?

Activity: Presenting

Present a slideshow with 4 pictures of different families, including famous people, animals, cartoon characters, and musical instruments. 

Connection to prior knowledge: When students identify what all pictures have in common( families) and what are the differences within each family members,   ask them if they knew that music instruments also belong to different instrumental families? 

Student Instructions

Watch the pictures and tell what  these pictures have in common and describe the differences between family members. 

2 Lets' Watch

Free, Paid

Invite students to watch Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra.


While we watch teh video, ask students if they recognize any of the  instruments and name them. 




Student Instructions
  • Watch a video of  Benjamin Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra.
  • Choose one instruments family as your  favorite, after watching the video.
  • While the video is playing, raise your hand to answer these questions:
  1. Do you recognize any of the instruments?
  2. Can you name the instrument you recognized?


3 Let's explore

Having students to access http://www.sfskids.org/  will  allow them to see the instruments pictures and listen to how they sound, plus there is a concise description of how they  produce  sound. 


Student Instructions
  1. Go to http://www.sfskids.org/
  2. Click on Discover
  3. Click on Sea of Knowledge
  4. Click on Instruments> Instrument Families
  5. Read and listen to music examples about the Instruments Family that you chose as your favorite, when we watched the video.

4 Introduce your family

Students will use Office Sway to create a presentation about an instrument family of their choice, then they will submit their presentations' link to their online assignment on Canvas (LMS)

Provide students with a Sway Presentation Rubric

Choose the 4 Sway presentations( 1 per Instruments family) that meet the rubric criteria and ask student sto present it to their classmates.  

Student Instructions
  1.  Login  to  Office365. browardschools.com
  2. Click on the Sway app 
  3. Create a Sway presentation to introduce the Instrument Family of your preference.  
  4. You Sway must include    
  • Name of the instruments family
  • Why did you choose this instrument family? 
  • A description of no less than 4 instruments from this family:
  1. What material are these instruments made of?
  2. How the instruments produce sound?
  3. Name music that was composed for the instruments included in this family.
  • Use  Pictures, videos  or video links , and audio files to support your information.  

4. Once you complete your presentation:

  •  Click on Share button, at the top right of the page
  •  Copy the link.
  • Log in to Canvas
  •  Find Instrument Families assignment 
  • Click "Submit Assignment"  and paste the link to submit your Sway presentation.


submit it to the Canvas assignment page.