With Year 4, I have been teaching a six week unit on Instruments of the Orchestra. The basic aim is to learn sixteen instruments, four families, what all the instruments sound like and how the orchestra is organized. They also learn to play the theme from “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” on keyboards.
The following game has been very successful. The children have to make the sixteen instrument cards, either by drawing or copying the pictures or cutting and sticking onto the template provided. I get the children to stick the template onto some card and then later I laminate the cards and fix them together with an elastic band. Each card needs to be labelled with their initials so they don’t get mixed up.
When each child has the sixteen cards they can play lots of games. We played “Happy Families” in groups of four, “Snap” in groups of two using two sets of cards (snap the families not the individual instruments) “Memory Game” on your own where you have to put all sixteen cards in a 4 X 4 pattern face down and then turn over two and if they are the same family then you keep them with their pictures showing, if they are are not then you turn them back over. I also play all the sounds and they have to find the correct card.
The children get to take the cards home to play with their families and to learn and I tell them that they need to learn them well for an instrument spelling test in a few weeks time. I am starting to despair of watching fourteen-year old students spelling the percussion instrument “cymbal” “symbol”!
The games normally take two hour long lessons to deliver – one for making the cards and one for playing the games.
Feel free to download and print.