Celebrate: Song, Dance, and Story!

Musical Instruments: Activities & Standards

Teaching Suggestions for Musical Instruments:


Utilizing the resources above, as well as others, have the students do a number of activities such as:

-  Create a map with specific cultures shown in their traditional territories. Create symbols for instruments that are unique to each culture. Match the instruments to the appropriate culture.

-  Design and create a display or presentation which gives information on two different instruments from two different cultures. Include information and illustrate their design and usage.

-  Create a PowerPoint presentation that compares and contrasts the different instruments highlighted in this learning center.

-  Using information found in this learning center and other sources, construct a traditional instrument.

Check for Understanding and Assessment


            This assessment component has been created using a continuous progress curriculum and assessment model. Students are expected to reach proficiency at their own rate, and according to their individual learning styles. This Standards-based form of assessment relies heavily upon performance at a proficient level, coupled with meaningful learning experiences that assist the learner in reaching mastery of the national standards.


Assessment on Musical Instruments



Creates a list of traditional instruments, their respective culture, and where these cultures are located in the world.



Chooses at least two instruments from two different cultures, and illustrates their construction and usage.



Compares and contrasts the traditional instruments used by different cultures (e.g., Choctaw, Hawaiian, Iñupiaq, Portuguese, Yup’ik, Wampanoag, etc.)



Researches, designs, and constructs a musical instrument from one or two cultures (e.g.., Choctaw, Hawaiian, Iñupiaq, Portuguese, Yup’ik, and Wampanoag).






Standard 10

Human Systems

Understands the nature and complexity of Earth’s cultural mosaics.

Level III Grades 3-5

  3.  Understands how cultures differ in their use of similar environments and resources.



Language Arts

Standard 4


Gathers and uses information for research purposes.

  Level III Grades 6-8

   2.  Uses a variety of resource materials to gather information for research topics.




Standard 7

Understands the relationship between music and history and culture.

Level II Grades3-5

Knows how basic elements of music are used in music from various cultures of the world.

Level III Grades 6-8  

    1.  Understands distinguishing characteristics (e.g., relating to instrumentation, texture, rhythmic qualities, melodic lines, form) of representative music genres and styles from a variety of cultures.