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Using Rhythm Instruments to Tell a Story




K, 1, 2, 3  

This lesson plan is designed to teach students the concept of rhythm in a song, by listening to music and playing instruments to represent actions.



Students will learn how to keep a beat with the music.



-Rhythm instruments (shakers, maracas, rain stick, wood block, finger cymbals)

-Copy of the “What Would I Do” song available for free at:


Anticipatory Set:

-Have the students watch “Peter and the Wolf” and talk about how each character was represented by a certain instrument.

-Tell students they will do a song where they select an instrument that will represent an action that happens in the story.



  1. Play the song “What Would I Do?” for the students so they can hear where their action in the story happens in the song.
  2. Select 6 students at a time and have each student choose an instrument to represent their sound in the song/story. (1st student: action of rain, 2nd student: action of jumping in a puddle, 3rd student: action of walking in the mud, 4th student: action of hopping in grass, 5th student: action of skipping in the driveway, 6th student: action of running in the backyard)
  3. While these 6 students are using their instruments during the song, have the rest of the class do the actions in place (i.e. jumping, walking, hopping, skipping, and running).
  4. In the last part of the song, have all the students play their instruments all at once.


Plan for Independent Practice:

-Assessment based on objectives: encourage the students to be creative in coming up with their instruments and rhythms but also ask them why they chose the instrument they did.

-Adaptations (for students with learning disabilities):  many instruments are available for students with disabilities to play.


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