Didgeridoos From Down Under

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household supplies

Why?

Australia's Aboriginal people invented the didgeridoo. Make this musical instrument with recycled materials. Now you can play a didgeridoo, too!

Steps

  1. 1. Find information about Australia's Aboriginal people. Learn about their art, use of symbols and designs, and music. Find out how and why they originally constructed the didgeridoo, a musical instrument with a unique sound. Listen to recordings or find someone in your community who plays the instrument. Invite them to perform for your class. You'll find out what size didgeridoos are.
  2. 2. Make your own small replica of a didgeridoo with a long cardboard wrapping-paper roll, or tape two to three cardboard tubes together. Cut construction paper to cover, and attach with Crayola® School Glue.
  3. 3. Decorate your didgeridoo in bright colors and authentic Aboriginal patterns made with Crayola Washable Markers.
  4. 4. If you wish, glue ribbon, string, or yarn to your didgeridoo. Glue feathers or beads to the ends. Dry. How well can you imitate the sound of a real didgeridoo?

adaptations

With younger children and those with special needs, ensure that this experience is as hands-on as possible. Find photographs, listen to recordings or performances, and point out the both historical and contemporary peoples in Australia.

Research the history and current status of the Aboriginal peoples. Discover other important elements of their unique culture.

Compare other wind instruments to discover similarities and differences with the didgeridoo. What creates the sound in each?

Research and make replicas of other ancient musical instruments such as the rain stick.

benefits

Children research the unique culture and history of Australian Aboriginal peoples.

Students learn about Aboriginal didgeridoos, musical instruments made from long trunks or branches of trees hollowed out by termites.

Children construct one of the oldest wind instruments known, using recycled materials, and try to duplicate didgeridoo sounds with it.

grades

Pre-K and Kindergarten
Grades 1 to 3
Special Needs

subjects

Language Arts
Social Studies
Visual Arts

time

Less than 1/2 hour
30 to 60 minutes

curriculum standards links

US: Research U.S. Standards
UK: Research UK Standards
Canada: Research Canada Standards

safety guidelines

Recycled Cardboard Tubes—Use paper towel tubes, gift-wrap tubes, or long cardboard tubes that can be cut to any length. Health professionals caution against using recycled toilet paper tubes for arts & crafts projects because of the potential fecal contamination.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.

String-Like Materials—Includes string, raffia, lacing, yarn, ribbon, and other similar material. Children 3 years and younger should not be given any string-like material that is longer than 12 inches. Close adult supervision is essential whenever children use string-like material. When crafts are to be worn around the necks of children 8 years and younger, attach the ends of the “string-like material” with clear adhesive tape, which allows easy release of the bond if the craft becomes entangled or caught on equipment. For children older than 8 years, the ends of the “string-like material” may be tied and knotted.

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