The xylophone is a percussion instrument.
- 3 - 8 jars, glasses or bottles (all the same size)
- food coloring (optional)
- Fill each glass with a different amount of water.
- Add food coloring to each glass if desired.
- Line up the glasses on a desk or table in random order.
- Tell the students that they (or the teacher with younger students) will be tapping gently on the glasses and listening to the sounds of each glass.
- Ask students to predict if the pitch of sound will be the same or different for each glass. (different pitches)
- Have the students (or teacher) tap gently on the glasses with a spoon.
- Ask if they hear sounds of different pitches. (Yes!)
- Ask why they think the sounds make different pitches. (varying amounts of water)
- Ask if the students can put the glasses in order from highest pitch to the lowest pitch by just looking at them.
- Allow students (or the teacher) to arrange the glasses then have the students (or teacher) tap gently on the glasses to see if they are in the correct order. (The students or teacher may rearrange if necessary.)
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Explanation: The glass with the least amount of water will have the highest pitch. (It is vibrating the fastest.) The glass with the most water has the lowest pitch. (It is vibrating the slowest.)