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Orchestra Book

Subject: Music, Language Arts, Art, Technology
Grade: K-2, 3-5, 6-8

Brief Description

Students create a picture book about the instruments in an orchestra that they can listen to and read.



  • define the words instruments and orchestra,
  • learn about the instruments in an orchestra,
  • draw pictures of the instruments,
  • write short paragraphs about the instruments,
  • arrange the pages by orchestra sections,
  • tape-record their written information.


music, orchestra, instruments, section

Materials Needed

  • teacher-selected or student-researched books about the instruments in an orchestra or the Web sites noted in the lesson
  • a teacher-selected recording of instruments in an orchestra
  • tape recorder
  • construction or drawing paper
  • drawing materials, such as markers or crayons
  • pens or pencils
  • hole punch
  • paper fasteners or a report cover
  • blank audiocassette
  • computers with Internet access (optional)

Lesson Plan

Suggestion: You may want to complete this activity in two lessons.

Lesson 1

  • Discuss the meaning of the terms musical instruments and orchestra.
  • Ask students to name some instruments in an orchestra.
  • Explain the sections of an orchestra (strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion) and the instruments in each section. Share information from The Symphony Orchestra and Instrument Encyclopedia.
  • Play a recording of instruments in an orchestra to let students hear the different sounds of the instruments.
  • Divide the class into groups according to the sections of an orchestra. Tell students that each group will draw pictures of the instruments in its section and write a short paragraph about each instrument.
  • Distribute construction or drawing paper and drawing materials.
Lesson 2
  • Give students a few days to complete the research. Students may use teacher-selected or student-researched school texts or library sources. If Internet access is available to everyone, students may begin their research with the above-noted Web sites.
  • Have each group draw pictures of the instruments in its section and write one or two sentences about each instrument. For primary grades, assist students in researching the information and writing the paragraphs.
  • When students are finished, discuss the meaning of the word chapters (in a book).
  • Have students arrange chapters of their book according to the sections of the orchestra.
  • Have students brainstorm a title for the book and a design for the cover.
  • Punch holes in the pages and use paper fasteners to create the book, or use a report cover.
  • Have each student read aloud his or her paragraph into the tape recorder. Place the finished book and tape recorder in the classroom library or learning center to create a read-along "book on tape."
Extension: Place the recording of instruments in an orchestra in the library or learning center to give students the option of listening to the instruments while they read the book.


Evaluate each student's contribution to the book.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Lois Lewis

National Standards

Fine Arts:

Language Arts:

Fine Arts:


Originally published 03/07/2002
Last updated 01/19/2009