In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about woodwind instruments. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Woodwind Instruments topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching About Woodwind Instruments
Have each student bring in different sizes of bottles. Encourage them to bring in bottles of different materials such as plastic, glass, or even ceramic. Then have them blow across the openings of their own bottles. What do they hear? Encourage them to add water into the bottle and blow across the opening again. What happened to the sound? Have students go around the room and listen to classmates blow across their own bottles. They may want to draw pictures, make recordings or videos, or take notes of their observations.
Make your own pan flutes! Bring in tubes of different sizes. Plastic or PVC tubes are affordable and can be purchased from any hardware store. Cut different sizes of tubes and distribute them to small groups. Have them order the tubes from shortest to longest and tape them together. Then have them create a song together. One child can play the melody, while others can make up lyrics and sing along. Encourage students to write lyrics about their favorite story or about something they learned in class. Then have
the “bands” perform their songs in front of the whole class.
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching About Woodwind Instruments
Listen to a woodwind orchestra or ensemble together. If possible, go to a live performance, or you can listen to music via the radio or Internet. Point out different instruments and challenge your child to listen for different woodwinds, such as the flutes, clarinets, and oboes. How do they affect the overall mood of the piece?
Let’s Hear it for Saxophones
Saxophones are instruments that can be found in many different genres of music, from hip-hop and rock to classical and jazz. Find different songs that feature saxophones. Compare and contrast the songs. How does the saxophone fit into each song? How does a jazz piece featuring a saxophone create a different feeling from one that features a trumpet? Explore music together and help your child understand how one instrument can be used in different genres.