Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Small and Tall

Sharon Hardy


Students demonstrate pitch direction by using movement and visual representation.


The student demonstrates pitch direction by using visual representation (e.g., steps and line drawings).


-Instrument that will play definite pitches such as xylophone or melody bells
- Appropriate mallets
- Copy of the rhyme (see associated file)


1. Memorize or become familiar with the rhyme. A copy of the rhyme can be downloaded and printed from the associated file.
2.Set out the melody instrument(s) you will be using and the appropriate mallets.


1.Ask students to give examples of things that are high and low or tall and small. They will probably say -the sky, birds, grass, etc...-

2. Tell students that today they are going to practice listening for tall and small pitches and practice being tall and small pitches. Give the students a simple definition of pitch and provide examples. Be sure to demonstrate both tall and small pitches.

3. Tell students to listen while you say a short rhyme about tall and small. A copy of the rhyme is located in the associated file.

4. Say the rhyme again. This time play high (tall) and low (small) tones on the melody instrument.

5. Ask students if they could hear tall and high sounds and the small and low sounds.

6. Tell students the last line of the rhyme says,-Guess what I am now?- Play high tones as you repeat this line.

7.Ask students if you were small or tall. HOPEFULLY,they will answer correctly.

8. Ask students to stand.

9. Tell students that this time as you say and play the rhyme you want them to show with their bodies what is happening in the rhyme.

10. Demonstrate how you want a -small- and -tall- shown (ex. crouch down and reaching arms high over head while standing).

11. Remind students to listen very carefully at the end of the rhyme for only the xylophone (or bells). These instruments will tell them to be tall or small.

12. Say the poem ending with the appropriate tones. Repeat several times. Vary the response at the end.


Observe students as they react to high and low (small and tall) sounds to see if they respond appropriately. Since developing good listening habits is essential to all learning, not just in music, it is important all students acquire good listening behaviors.This is a formative assessment. The teacher is an observer as well as a teacher. The criteria for observation is as follows:
1. As each pitch is played the teacher will quickly scan the group to observe proper movement. If a child is not in the proper position, the teacher will repeat the sound until all students have recognized the pitch as being small or tall.
2. On succeeding days, at the beginning or end of the class, the teacher can once again play -small' or -tall- pitches without using the rhyme. Again observe the children in the group for recognition and proper movement (reaching high for -tall- and crouching for -small-).


On another day allow students to play ending sounds on the melody instrument as others respond. You might also have students draw pictures of things that belong in the air and on the ground.

Attached Files

The file consists of the rhyme "Tall and Small" used for the lesson.     File Extension: pdf

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