Musical Fairy Tales Sound Scape

Sarah Vitullo

Lesson Goals

-understand how sound vibrations work
-understand how different instruments are grouped based on how their sounds are produced

-choose appropriate instruments for beg/end, and middle details of the story
-use the musical characteristics of dynamics and melody to appropriate tell the story

Creating a soundscape for the Three Little Pigs (ELA) to learn about melody/form and the way instruments are differentiated based on how they produce sound (science/music)


25 whiteboards, dry erase markers, erasers
Promethean (or regular white) board
Storybook of the Three Little Pigs
membranes/skins (hand drums, tubanos, mini bongos, etc.)
metals (triangles, tambourines, glockenspiels)
woods (temple blocks, wood blocks, tone blocks, xylophones, etc.)


1. Read the story of The Three Little Pigs
2. Students draw favorite part of the story on small whiteboards
3. Put the beginning, middle, and end events of the story in order by having the students come up to the front (one at a time) with the picture they drew and stand in the correct spot. Teacher tells students where the beginning and ending points will be.
4. Review types of instruments we will use. This would be front-loaded, previously taught more thoroughly in the lesson as sound is being introduced in science as well. Woods-skins/membranes-metals.
5. Discuss differences in sounds and why they are different. (How do the membranes vibrate? Why? How and why do the metals vibrate? How and why do the skins vibrate?)
6. Discuss how we can use musical characteristics- dynamics, melody, form- to show what is happening in the story, or melodic patterns to describe different characters.
7. Discuss what parts of the story will need an instrumental sound or melody- the beginning, end, each pig, and the wolf
8. Assign an instruments to each of the above in #6.
9. Option to use chart Instrument Chart and Soundscape Graph
10. Graph the story with the instruments
– teacher on promethean board
– students draw on their own mini whiteboards
– graph the dynamics, when the sounds will be softer or louder (climax)
11. perform with instruments
12. reflect/discuss with students how they can transition to creating a similar sound scape for their own fairy tale
13. help students start planning in music, to take ideas back to their classroom project.

Differentiation Approaches

ELL- help students know the basic terms in their language- wood/metal/skins
Students with ADD- may get up and move, stand, etc
Students who are differently abled- may have more instrument choices or modified ways they hold the instruments (bigger mallets, bigger drums, etc)
Students who complete the work quickly and carelessly- may be given a specific goal that they must complete carefully in order to be able to play an instrument
Students who complete the work quickly and successfully- may start planning their own soundscape or may create more detailed melodies with rhythm or notated melody


-use this chart to assess students (chart is linked in the google doc; or copy link and create a new window)

-teacher will observe students placing their part of the story in the correct space
-students will have to understand how the instruments are differentiated in order to choose and play the correct instrument for the correct part of the story
-more assessment of this will happen when students apply what they have learned in their class when they add instruments/sound scape to their small group fairy tale

Follow Up and Extension Ideas

-students will take this back to their class and use this structure to create their own fairytale soundscape in small groups
-students could take turns narrating as the class performs
-this could be videoed and class could watch it to reflect and improve or decide if they want to make instrumental or other changes
-could easily incorporate Theatre Arts or Visual Arts standards as well

Additional Details

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