The Woodwind Family of Instruments in the Orchestra

The Woodwind Family of Instruments in the Orchestra
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LESSON 3: The Woodwind Family

Duration: Forty minutes

Rationale: The purpose of this lesson is to provide students with information about the woodwind family, its members, and their characteristics through the use of the Internet.

Objectives: Students/learners will:

  • Identify the main woodwind instruments: piccolo, flute, clarinet, oboe, English horn, bassoon, bass clarinet and saxophone
  • Listen to sounds of the various woodwind instruments
  • Explore the Internet for information on the woodwinds family

National Standards: For the Music and Technology National Standards for the unit, click here


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  • A woodwind instrument for class demonstration (i.e. flute, clarinet, etc.)
  • worksheets on the woodwind Instruments
  • InFocus machine
  • Student laptops with Internet Explorer installed
  • Teacher laptop or PC
  • Overhead projector
  • Large pull-down or portable screen
  • Writing utensils for students
  • CD Player and CD of Woodwind Chamber Ensemble

Class Organization: Students will start on the carpet area for the instrument demonstration. They then will go to their desks/tables and will be on their individual laptops. The teacher will be at the front of the class for demonstration but will come around to the students as well.


  • The teacher will have all of the students sit on the carpet area (in chairs if necessary) in a semi-circle.

  • The teacher will then review with the students some of the characteristics of the woodwind family and show them pictures of the instruments in this family. The students will be asked to try and identify each instrument. The teacher will then put together the clarinet (I am a clarinet player so this is the instrument I would choose for demonstration) The teacher will then proceed to describe what it is made out of, how you hold it, and how the sound is produced (by blowing air through it)

  • The teacher will then explain that the class is going to use another website to find out more about this family. The teacher then passes the clarinet around the room for them to take a closer look at.

  • After the students finish with this, they again go to their laptops and go to the website,, for information on all instruments of the woodwind family.

  • The teacher will demonstrate using the InFocus machine and a large screen for whole-class viewing. The teacher will then select students to read the Woodwind Family section aloud.

  • The teacher will then pass out the woodwind crossword puzzle and word match to be completed by the students. These are to be completed individually using the site above.

  • Using the overhead projector and worksheet transparencies, the teacher will then go through the puzzle and word match with the class. The worksheets will then be collected for their participation grade.

  • NOTE: While students work on worksheets, the teacher may have them listen to a Jon Ward Bauman CD on Woodwind Chamber Music.

Assessment: Students will be assessed on their ability to complete the woodwind worksheets and will also be assessed informally on their participation by means of a participation rubric.


HyperMusic Musical Instruments

This site provides in depth information on the instrument families including their description, their history and their maintenance. The site includes great graphics and links to other sites regarding thetopic. Students will have an easy time finding the information they need from this site. This site is very appropriate for students in the elementary/middle school grade levels for it is very easy to read and understand. Students could use this site to fulfill the research portion of the NETS.

RubiStar Rubric Creator

This site allows teachers to create custom made rubrics forassessmentpurposes or retrieve ready-made rubrics based on a variety of subjects and assessment formats. This site is great for teachers who need to create an assessment rubric for projects, performance evaluations, essays, and other multimedia assignments. They also are great for assessing class participation.Teachers can also use this site to create rubrics for peer

This post is part of the series: Instrument Families of the Orchestra

This is a great unit plan that will get your 5th grade Music students better acquainted with the various types of musical instruments of the orchestra. There are several lessons that incorporate technology as well. Enjoy!

  1. Instruments of the Orchestra Unit Plan and First Lesson
  2. Instruments of the Orchestra: The String Family
  3. Instruments of the Orchestra: The Woodwind Family
  4. The Instruments of the Orchestra: The Brass Family
  5. Instruments of the Classical Orchestra: The Percussion Family