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By Patricia Sealey — senior teacher and freelance writer

Writing simple captions to describe how to play a musical instrument.

You will need

Examples or pictures of the instruments used in the story; A4 card; writing materials; examples of DIY diagrams and instructions; word books.

What to do

Show the pictures of instruments to the class and ask the children if they know how each one is played. Ask for volunteers to demonstrate. Discuss why they are played in different ways.

Demonstrate how to draw a diagram of an instrument. Ask the children to identify the important parts. How can they teach others to play the instruments? Display the DIY diagrams and instructions. Explain that you want to put an instruction card with each instrument explaining how it can be played. Talk about the kinds of words they will need, such as blow here, put your fingers here and so on. Discuss why they don’t have to write in complete sentences.

Give each child an A4 piece of card, then ask them to choose an instrument to draw and add the relevant labels and captions to explain how to play it. An adult could support less able children by providing the captions and asking the children to match them to the relevant parts of the instrument.


Use the children’s cards to play a ‘Yes/No’ game. A child chooses one of the cards and the rest of the class asks questions to guess the name of the instrument, eg Do you blow it? The answers can only be yes or no.



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