Chinese Percussion Music Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan is a tool for helping students learn about Chinese percussion instruments. Students will answer questions about a text, learn proper terminology for different types of instruments, and create their own instruments.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson on Chinese percussion instruments, students will be able to:

  • Cite evidence when answering questions about the text.
  • Use appropriate terms when referring to different types of instruments.
  • Create a Chinese percussion instrument.


90 minutes

Common Core Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.


Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.


  • bangu
  • bianzhong
  • cymbals
  • daluo
  • gong
  • Lion Dance
  • lion drum
  • luogu
  • mallet
  • Peking Opera
  • pengling
  • percussion
  • tanggu
  • yunluo


  • Copies of quiz
  • Copies of the lessons
  • Photographs of Chinese percussion instruments
  • Video clips of the Lion Dance, luogu, and Peking opera
  • Picture cards for all vocabulary

Reading & Discussion Questions

  • Engage learners by playing a video clip of a luogu performance. Discuss the instruments that students see in the video.
  • Read Chinese Percussion: Music & Instruments as a class, and discuss the following questions:
    • Describe the history of Chinese percussion instruments.
    • What are percussion instruments?
    • What are some occasions that percussion instruments would be used in China?
    • What color are drums usually painted? Why?
    • How were drums used to tell time in ancient China?
    • Describe the Peking Opera.
    • What is a luogu?
    • What kinds of instruments would be used by a luogu?
    • What is the purpose of the Lion Dance?
    • What are some different types of gongs?
    • Describe some different bells that are used.
    • What is the difference between a bangu and a tanggu?
    • Describe the lion drum.
  • Pass out the printable worksheet. Have students complete the questions independently, then check the answers together.

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