Time: 10 mins
Group size: Small Groups
Tag words: artefact, scrape, buzz, ring, shake, play, instrument, alien, check, explore, different, sound, timbre
Place a number of different instruments in groups on the floor, ideally a range of instruments that includes a bell, a shaker, a tambourine, a chime bar, a scraper, a drum etc.
Get the pupils into small groups of 4-6, and tell them that the Alien artefacts need to be carefully checked and explored. Ask them to sit quietly around the artefects, and then ask them in groups to explore the instruments, seeing if they can get more than two different sounds from each instrument eg playing a chime bar with the beater, then turning the beater over and playing it with the other end.
Ask the class for as many words that describe the sounds of the artefacts as possible and list them on the board.
These words describe the timbre (pronounced TAMbruh) of the instruments, or unique sound.
Some examples of timbre words: ringing, clashing, booming, bouncy, clattering, soft, brassy, gentle, choppy, noisy, mellow, shrill, reedy, clear, breathy, rounded, full, thin, piercing, harsh, warm, resonant, dark, bright, heavy, light,