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Suzie Eskelund

High and Low Pitches Lesson Plan

Grade Level: 1st Grade General Music
Standards Addressed:
National Core Standards for the Arts:

Creating: Anchor Standard #1- Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Connecting: Anchor Standard #10- Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to
make art.

Instructional Objectives:

Explore the different factors that make pitched instruments high or low (size, material,
Be able to use that knowledge to create a new instrument based on these discoveries

Essential Question:

Are the concepts weve discovered about high and low pitched instruments consistent with
what we find in nature?

Prior Knowledge Needed:

Students must be able to identify the difference between high and low sounds and same and
different sounds.


Bongo drums
Orff xylophone
Guitar (my own instrument that they may examine but not touch)
One empty tissue box per child
Rubber bands of 3 different sizes (one of each size per child plus extra in case some break)
Mary Had a Little Lamb music in color

Performance Tasks/Learning Activities:

1. Students will review high and low pitches through singing different solfege notes with me and
identifying which is the higher pitch.
2. Students will then review high and low sounds by identifying which sound is higher after I play
two pitches in a row on the bongos.
3. I will ask students if they know why one drum sounds higher than the other. This will lead into
exploration of other instruments and discovering what makes pitch higher or lower.
4. We will examine the drums, xylophone, and guitar strings as a class to determine that higher
pitches come from smaller instruments or strings.

5. The children will then each be given one empty tissue box and 3 different sized rubber bands.
6. The children will then assemble their own instruments using these materials to demonstrate
high and low sounds based on the thickness of the bands.
7. They will draw red dots around the lowest string, yellow around the middle, and green around
the highest string with crayons.
8. The children will then play to the music of Mary Had a Little Lamb with their instruments. The
music will be based on an upside down traffic light with green being the highest note, yellow as
the middle, and red as the lowest note.

The teacher will ask students questions throughout the exploration of instruments to make sure
they are following the concept.
Teacher will ask each child individually to play the highest pitch on their instrument and the
lowest pitch to assess whether they understand the difference.

Explanation of Standards addressed in this lesson.

This lesson incorporates anchor standards 1 and 10 by creating and connecting ideas through their own
instruments. They students have been learning about the difference in high and low sounds and now
will be able to connect that knowledge through an instrument they have created themselves. On top of
that, they will be able to perform a song based on these concepts using the instruments they have
created using colored notes that help connect the ideas of high and low.