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Here students create and draw onomatopoeia sounds with instruments and “The Listening Walk”


Art, Language Arts, Music  


1, 2  

Title – The Listening Walk – Composing and Drawing Sounds
By – Kaylee
Primary Subject – Music
Secondary Subjects – Art, Language Art
Grade Level – 1-2

Concept/Lesson Goal:

    Create and draw sounds that represent words.

Learning Outcomes/Objectives:

  • Students will be able to create sounds from words using instruments (onomatopoeia).
  • They will also be able to visualize and draw (notate) their created sound.

Prior knowledge:

    Students need to know how to properly play the instruments.

Georgia General Music Standards Met:

      M1GM.2 – Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music

        (b.) Perform a steady beat and simple rhythmic patterns using body percussion as well as classroom instruments with appropriate technique.

      M1GM.4 – Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments

        (b.) Improvise soundscapes (e.g., weather, animals, and other sound effects).

      M1GM.5 – Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines

        (a.) Create sound effects and movements to accompany songs, poems, and stories.

      M1GM.6 – Listening to, analyzing, and describing music

        (b.) Describe music using appropriate vocabulary (e.g., high, low, loud, quiet, fast, and slow)


      VA1MC.1 Engages in the creative process to generate and visualize ideas.


    VA1MC.2 Formulates personal responses.

      (b.) Expresses individual ideas, thoughts, and feelings through drawing.

    VA1C.1 Applies information from other disciplines to enhance the understanding and production of artworks.

      (a.) Explores universal concepts (e.g., pattern, balance) and creates artworks inspired by ideas from literature, science, music, and/or math.


  • The Listening Walk by Paul Showers
  • All sound words written out (on a poster or on separate cards). Have the illustration on the back for a visual reference from the book.
  • Many different instruments or objects to create sounds.
  • Blank paper
  • Markers / pencils / crayons
  • Raymond Murray Schafer – Miniwanka , Kaleidoscope, 1967
  • (Optional) Examples of interpretive music (written symbols or pictures)
  • (Optional) Dr. Suess – Gerald McBoing Boing for showing

Teaching Procedure:

  1. Set up poster or word cards for students to see.
  2. “Has anyone ever been on a walk? What kind of sounds have you heard? We are going to read a story about a young girl who went on a walk. Her favorite thing to do on walks was to listen to all of the sounds she heard. First, let’s look at the sounds and think of what we can use to create them with our instruments.”
  3. Read a few cards aloud having students echo the sound back. Ask a few questions: “What kind of sound would this make? Long or short?” “Do you think this would be a soft or loud sound?”
  4. Before passing out cards, establish a few rules:
    1. Use conducting to show them when to play and cut off. It would be good to practice this a few times to make sure they understand the signals.
    2. “If anyone purposely plays during someone else’s turn, you will need to put your instrument up and listen. We need to be respectful of each other’s performances.”
  5. For assessment, come up with a plan as a class before instruments are chosen. This will ensure that they have a clear connection of their words-instruments/objects used.
  6. Pass out the cards or assign words to students. Allow a short time so they can get what they need as well as figure out how they will play their card.
  7. Once all students have their instruments and a plan for their sound, begin to read the book.
  8. For each page with a sound word, pause and allow the students to play their idea.
  9. After the entire book is read through with the individual performances, discuss ways you could represent different sounds for music. “Now that we know what our words can sound like, let’s see what we can create for what the music may look like”
  10. On a piece of paper, have each student draw what their sound sounded like. (Not with a picture of an object, but more of the contour of the sound or a symbol.)
    1. For a reference, show an example of what music can look like using pictures ( Miniwanka – Schafer)
    2. If there is time, have students show their pictures to the class and play their example, explaining how they were able to notate it. If no time, students can write a few sentences on the back of their picture.
    3. To finish, “There are many different sounds all around us. There are also different kinds of books that you may read at home that have funny words in it, just like this one (show Dr. Suess’ Gerald McBoing Boing ). See if you can come up with some interesting ways to perform a book to your parents!”


      Students will be assessed on their interpretation of their sound word according to the rubric they created together.
Categories Excellent Good Needs Improvement
Chose an appropriate instrument for specific sound word      
Played musically      
Played at appropriate time      

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