Lesson Plan: High and Low Sounds Lesson Plan G K

Written By: Lynn Johnson
Grade Level: K

Time Allotment

One 45 minute class period


Students will explore the concepts of high and low sounds using classroom instruments and found sounds.

Subject Matter

Arts - Music

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to identify high and low sounds. Students will be able to make an educated assumption as to whether an instrument will make a high or low sound.

Media Components - Video/Web


  • Classroom mallet instruments
  • Classroom rhythm instruments
  • Glass bottles or cups with water at various levels to make a water xylophone
  • Everyday objects that will make high and low sounds (i. e. nails, screws, glass jars and bottles)
  • Journal for cross‐curricular activity

Teacher Preparation

  • Set up classroom in stations
    1. mallet instruments
    2. water xylophone table
    3. found sounds
    4. drums
    5. other classroom instruments (triangles, cymbals, etc.)
  • Bookmark websites
  • Find other objects that will make high and low sounds
  • Find pictures of things that are high (birds, clouds, etc.) and low (grass, snakes, etc.)
  • Find pictures of things that are loud (firetruck, thunder and lightening, etc.) and
  • quiet (butterflies, mice, etc.) to differentiate between loud/quiet and high/low as young students often confuse the two

Introductory Activities

Show students pictures of loud/quiet objects.
  1. Students classify pictures by loud and quiet
  2. Students look at high/low pictures.
  3. Students classify these pictures by where you find them – up high or down low
  4. Tell students that they will be listening for sounds that are high and low first in videos of American Indian flute playing and drumming, then in classroom instruments

Learning Activities

  1. Watch video clip of Eyabay Drum and Singing Group from Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians in Minnesota. The clip is over 9 minutes long. Listen long enough to hear the singing changing from high to low ‐ about one and a half minutes. Listen for the sound of the drum and the singing. Ask “Does the drum sound high or low? Does the singing sound high or low?” Follow the highs and lows of the singing with your hand. “Does this singing sound the same or different from the way we sing in music class?”
  2. Watch video clip of Quintanya Claw of the Navajo Nation of Arizona playing a Native American wooden flute. The video clip is almost 6 minutes long. Listen long enough to hear a good example of the range of the instrument – about one and a half minutes.
  3. Watch video clip from Curious George
  4. Take students through the stations as a class and show them how to work at each station. Students take turns at each station experimenting to see which instruments or objects make high sounds and which make low sounds
  5. Divide class into 5 groups
  6. Send each group to a station
  7. Change stations in 5 minute intervals

Culminating Activity

  1. Bring students together as a group
  2. Ask “What did you notice about all of the high sounding instruments?” (they were the smaller instruments)
  3. Ask “What did you notice about all of the low sounding instruments?” (they were the bigger instruments)
  4. Show ‘high’ and ‘low’ with hand motions
  5. Have students follow hand motions with their voices
  6. Have 2 or 3 students direct the class
  7. Have each group return to the last station it completed
  8. Have each student choose an instrument at his or her station
  9. Direct the class to play all high sounds or all low sounds using hand motions
  10. Give students a chance to direct the high and low sounds as time allows

Cross-Curricular Activity

Have students journal about what they noticed about the high and low sounding instruments.

Community Connections

  1. Students could discuss what instruments older relatives play and talk about whether they are high or low sounding and whether they are large or small
  2. Invite local American Indian musicians to perform at your school.

Student Handouts:

  1. High and Low Sounds Lesson Plan
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