This is a very simple idea for using boomwhackers. This was developed and tested by my husband Kevin with a group of students who had never learned any music at all.

It was pitched at grade 4/5 level, but can work for students of any age.

All you need is a whiteboard and a set of boomwhackers. We’ve published this as an interactive whiteboard resource, but there is nothing stopping you using pens on a traditional whiteboard.

We used pentatonic boomwhackers (red, orange, yellow, dark green and purple) – these are available as a pentatonic set, or you can use the full set and remove the light green (F) and magenta (B) ones.

Here is how Kevin started the activity:

The idea and resource goes further than is shown in the video.

You can use whatever one of the slides which suits the level of your class, and step through as quickly as you’d like, in one session or multiple sessions.

Slide 1: Colored Circles (as demonstrated in the video)
Slide 2 :Colored Circles with a notated rhythm in them
Slide 3: Colored Circles with one long note in them
Slide 4: Colored Circles with two different notated rhythms (the rhythm they’ve done before and a single long note)

Click the icons below to download the resource:

Interactive Whiteboard Materials

Download SmartNotebook File Interactive Whiteboard File for SMART boards (SMART Notebook)
Click here for the zipped version
Download ActiveInspire file Interactive Whiteboard File for Promethean Boards (ActiveInspire)
Click here for the zipped version

We’d love your feedback on this, and we’d love to hear any of your ideas for using boomwhackers in the classroom.

What works well for you and what doesn’t?

Do you have any great ideas for using boomwhackers that you’d like to share?

Please leave your feedback via the comment box below to benefit the wider teaching community.

UPDATE: If you have any trouble downloading the SMART notebook or ActiveInspire lessons by clicking their icons, just download the zipped version by clicking the text link below. Some browsers will not download these files from the icons correctly because of their long file names.