Emilia Kister


Elementary Lesson Plan

(Intended for 4th grade)



* The students will be able name two different types of mallets.

            * The students will know how percussion instruments are played.

* The students will know that there are many types of mallets and that they produce different sounds on the percussion instruments.



            Students are expected to be familiar with the different families of instruments by the time they begin their own studies in Band and Orchestra.



            All percussive instruments available

            All mallets available

            Sibelius Instruments, from Sibelius Educational Suite

Computer and projector



1. As the students line up outside the music room, they are told that they will need to sit in groups of three once they enter the room.

2. Each group is given same type of drum and a different type of mallet.

3. All groups are given 2 minutes to figure out a rhythm to play for the class and describe the sounds that their mallet makes on the drum.



  1. Each group shares their descriptions.
  2. All results are jotted down on the board.
  3. Class discusses the results.
  4. Teacher opens up the page on the different types of mallets.
  5. Does anyone want to take a guess as to how some of these mallets might sound on this drum?
  6. Why do we need so many different types of mallets? Letıs take a look at the different percussion instruments that they might be used for.
  7. Teacher opens up the percussion instruments page.
  8. Students and teacher read through some of the instruments on the page and listen to what they sound like.
  9. Student guess as to which malletsare being used in the recordings
  10. Are there generalizations we can make about the way different mallets sound?.
  11. Time for a fun vote. Which mallet does the Mrs. ____ class prefer on the Toms?
  12. Five volunteers are chosen, each with a different type of mallet.
  13. Each student plays the Toms with their mallets.
  14. Class votes.
  15. Run into any problems? Does it matter what type of feeling you are trying to portray? Discuss.



            Why do we need all these mallets anyway?


            As you begin to think about what instruments you will be making for your instrument project, remember that mallets make quite a difference in the way that your instrument might sound.



            During the next lesson, I plan to discuss in more detail the types of instruments in the Percussion Family and assign the Instrument Project. The Instrument Project summarizes the whole unit on the family of instruments.