Overview: Teaches math patterns using boomwackers in music.
I’m in love with using Boomwhackers in the general music classroom. They are portable, fun, and colorful in addition to being able to make great music. If you don’t already have a set, I highly recommend that you get some- they are CHEAP (less than $20 for a classroom set) and you can do so many different things with them. If you already have them, or if you’ve just purchased them and want a lesson plan to try, this one should fit the bill. This lesson is geared for elementary-age students and focuses on teaching patterns by playing boomwackers. Give it a try – you’ll have a “booming” good time! 🙂
Step 1: Students review units of ones, tens and hundreds in math.
Step 2: Have students get into groups of 3-4 and hand each group a stack of colored index cards. The index cards should be in Roy G. Biv colors and on one side contain a number in the ones, tens or hundreds, with lighter colors being higher numbers and lower numbers being darker colors.
Step 3: Have students arrange their cards in a pattern, first by color. Then, show students the class set of Boomwhackers. Ask them what they notice (ie: same colors as cards, different sizes, tube shape, etc).
Step 4: Show students how to play the Boomwhackers (tapping them lightly on any surface, hand or on the body) and that each different color makes a different sound because the colors are associated with the size of the tube. The longer tubes make lower sounds and the shorter tubes make higher sounds.
Step 5: Have students match their colored index cards with the same color Boomwhackers and “play” their pattern for the class.
Step 6: Repeat steps 3-5, but this time arrange the cards in a pattern with the numbers on the cards. See if playing this pattern sounds any different.
Step 7: Review why patterns are important (they make solving an equation or playing music easier) and how they can be used in different situations.
Susan Riley is the founder and President of EducationCloset.com. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.