Lesson Plan

Meet the Orchestra!

An Introduction to the Orchestra
Rachel C.
Classroom Teacher in Progress
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After this lesson, students will be able to recognize each musical instrument that is a part of the Orchestra. Students will be able to identify each instrumental family that these instruments belong to, and will understand the different timbre (sound) that each instrument has. 

Grades 3 - 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Let's Listen

Share musical excerpts that students may or may not be familiar with, that focus on each individual instrumental family. This will allow the students to hear each sound that these families produce, and will grab their attention at the beginning of the lesson. Also share musical excerpts of the whole orchestra working together, so that the students can identify this sound as well. 

Subsitution: YouTube can be used within the "substitution" phase of the SAMR model. It can act as a direct substitute tool  from a radio or cd player. It also allows the teacher to pick and choose musical content that works best for the lesson. 

TCK: YouTube fuses technology and content together and really adds to this lesson. The teacher is able to take the technology that YouTube provides, and choose content that introduces the orchestra and instrument families while grabbing the students' attentions. 

Student Instructions


Listen to these excerpts. What do you hear? Describe it. What instruments do you think are producing these sounds? 

2 Let's Learn

Introduce the orchestra as a whole and discuss how the modern day orchestra came into being. Introduce each instrumental family and the instruments that are in each family. Use Prezi or some similar tool that can showcase pictures of each instrument and each instrument family as a whole. This will help students to see the instruments and put an image with the name. You can also use the interactive instrumental encyclopedia found on the Dallas Symphony's website and have students continue to identify differences in sound. 

Substitution: Prezi can be used in place of flashcards or a simple Power Point. It's a more in depth technology tool that allows the teacher to be more creative and thorough in their planning. The instrument encyclopedia is also a good substitution tool because of its similarities to YouTube. It's more concentrated and interactive which will help with student engagement. 

TPACK: Prezi (or something similar) incorporates technology and content knowledge and also play into how the teacher teaches the material (pedagogy). The interactive instrument encyclopedia falls under this too because of how it adds to this particular lesson. 

Student Instructions


Listen and see if you understand and can spot the differences between each instrument. Ask questions about the instruments to better understand them. Dissect the pictures of each instrument, and listen to each instrument's sound to see if you can figure out where it belongs. 

3 Let's Explore

Activity: Assessing

Following this, discuss/assess the differences between each instrument family with the students. Collaborate together to spot the differences. A handout also might be useful here so that students can see the pictures of each instrument and practice their writing skills by writing down the differences before sharing. 

PCK: Using a handout/worksheet allows the teacher to showcase their content knowledge and method of teaching. 

Student Instructions


Spot the differences in the instruments on the handout, and write them down. What differences do you see in how the instruments look? In the materials they're made of? What differences did you hear in their sounds? Discuss these differences with your classmates and teacher and see what you and others discovered. 

4 You Explore

Accessing the computer lab for 1-2 days, the teacher will create user accounts for each student that will allow them to participate in this interactive game that uses Benjamin Britten's Young Person´s Guide to the Orchestra as a lesson. This game goes through each instrument and instrumental family, and includes a lot of detail and fun games to help solidify information. This game will allow students to explore what they've already learned and work through things that may or may not be confusing for them. If a student is unable to finish in two days, the teacher can encourage them to finish at home. The game also allows for the teacher to track progress. 

Modification: This tool allows for the lesson to be redesigned so it would fall under the modification level of SAMR. This tech tool takes what would have just been accomplished through worksheets, and uses a fun interactive game instead. It really solidifies the content that the students have been taught throughout this lesson. 

TCK: This game incorporates technology and content in a fun and educational way. It challenges the students to use problem solving skills to discover all the instruments needed for a modern day orchestra. Its an interactive technology tool that helps grow students´ technology skill set as well. 

Student Instructions


Explore and enjoy this game! Feel free to ask any questions that may pop up throughout. Read all of the information and play the games as much as you'd like. 


5 What Did We Learn?

Free, Paid

Using a sorting tool of some kind, sort students into different instrumental families, and have them work as a team to answer questions based on lesson content. Using Quizlet would be very helpful for this. This would help assess what students learned and if they fully understand the material. Maybe give a prize or a goal to reach as a incentive to participate. 

Augmentation: Using Quizlet would fall under the augmentation category of SAMR because it serves as a substitution and improves the lesson. Because the teacher has the ability to build their own quizzes, they can really make sure that the questions pertain to specific parts of the lesson which would really help with student assessment. 

TCK: Quizlet incorporates technology and content knowledge. Being able to choose the content really leads to an effective lesson. 

Student Instructions


Work together as a team to answer the most questions. What did you learn? What do you know about the orchestra?