Submitted by: Stefanie

Grade Levels: 3-5, K-3

In this lesson plan which is adaptable for grades K-5, students will use BrainPOP resources to become familiar with percussion instruments. They will also practice playing the instruments on a given cue.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Identify different types of percussion instruments
  2. Practice playing a variety of different percussion instruments
  3. Play percussion instruments on cue


  • "The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything" book by Linda D. Williams
  • Variety of percussion instruments (I use exotic ones that students normally don't get to play)


Gather the percussion instruments you will use with the activity so they are easy to access. Decide which words you would like students to play on. I use "Little Old Lady", "Walking", "Shoes", "Pants", "Shirt", "Gloves", "Hats", and "Pumpkin Head". Decide how many students you want to play on each vocabulary word so that you have enough of the same instrument out for each word.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Discuss what percussion instruments are with students. List the different types of percussion instruments you have in your classroom.
  2. Show the BrainPOP or BrainPOP Jr video about percussion instruments and take the review quiz.
  3. Have students sit in a circle so that you can make eye contact with all to help them play on the correct word. Introduce the instruments that you will have the students play and tell them what word each instrument will be played on. Then demonstrate how to play each instrument correctly.
  4. Hand out the instruments to the students, telling them what word to play on. Then do a practice...say each word and have the correct students play.
  5. Begin reading The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything, making eye contact with students when it is their turn to play. At the end, I always pass all of the instruments around the circle and let students try each one, because the instruments are ones that I normally don't let them play much (like a crash cymbal, a gong, and a ratchet)
  6. Have students discuss, research, and/or report on a selected percussion instrument and explain how it is played.