I don’t quite remember when it hit me, but for a long time I have thought that I wanted to do the game 4 Corners with the instruments of the orchestra. I even put it in my lesson plans a few times and took it out.
Why? Because I couldn’t figure out how to make it academic. If the person is just saying “Woodwind” and all the people in the woodwind section go sit out…. it that actually helping anyone?
Then I figured it out. It was kind of like the epiphany that led to treble clef battleship.
The person should call the instrument name, and all of those students go out. That way, you actually have to think about what instrument family it is in.
So we played this and it has been a HUGE hit! I will explain the best way to play, and then also a no-prep way to play in case you are in a pinch.
Instruments of the Orchestra Four Corners
- Put up a poster in each corner of the room. Each one will have a different instrument family– woodwind, percussion, strings, and brass.
- Review with the students what instruments are in each of the families.
- Have one student stand at the front of the room. They will hold an envelope or bucket with pieces of paper that have pictures of instruments on them.
- The person in the front counts (loudly) to ten with their eyes closed.
- While they count, all of the other students need to get into one of the corners. THEY MUST BE IN A CORNER BY 10. If they switch or are still in the middle of the room when the count is finished, they are out.
- The person in the front pulls out a picture of an instrument and says the name of the instrument.
- Everyone in that instrument family sits down. So if they pulled out trombone, they say trombone, and all of the people in the brass section sit down.
- This continues until you have a winner, and then that person is the next counter.
It is seriously so. much. fun.
Now, the first time I played it, I had not thought through all of the best things to do. So I present to you the no-material no-prep-at-all version of this:
- Write the names of the families on the board to correspond with the corners (so the front left corner will match the family written on the board on the front left.
- Have a student choose an instrument to say instead of pulling a card out of the bucket.
The biggest reason I added the other parts is time. I found that the student calling the instruments just took sooooo long to come up with one. I don’t know if it is because they couldn’t think of the names or couldn’t decide or what. But. I do know that once I added in the bucket with the pictures of instruments, it went so much smoother.
Also, there was less talk about the person in the front cheating because it was more random– they weren’t picking anymore.
Instruments of the orchestra four corners was a huge hit with my students– especially during testing and the end of the year! It made review so much more fun.
Going to have a sub? Check out my instruments of the orchestra print and go sub plans here!
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