Booming Patterns Lesson Plan

By |2018-10-30T10:42:36-07:00July 22nd, 2011|

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.


  1. David May 8, 2014 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    What happened to the lesson cards online?

    • susanedcloset May 8, 2014 at 12:22 pm - Reply

      Hi David – I’m not sure what you’re referring to here. The boomwackers links are to purchase the boomwackers themselves. The lesson plan is found if you click on the words Booming Patterns Lesson Plan. Is that what you were looking for?

  2. Karlee November 16, 2014 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    Can you provide more information about the use of the index cards? Should there be multiples of the same number for each group, so that they can great a growing pattern?

    • susanedcloset November 17, 2014 at 9:27 am - Reply

      Karlee – great question! You could certainly do it that way, if your intention is to work on growing patterns specifically. The index cards are fairly flexible. For instance, if you’re trying to get students to understand values in the hundreds (100, 200, etc), you could label the cards with hundreds numbers and have students create a pattern such as 100-200-300, 200-300-500, 300-400-700, etc. Or, you could have the students use multiples of the same number to create the growing pattern as you suggest. You could do the same thing with numbers in the 1’s or in the 10’s. The key concept, though, is that the higher the number, the smaller the tube.

      • Karlee November 18, 2014 at 1:45 pm - Reply


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