Shakin Maracas

Students will gain an understanding of how shaken percussion instruments sound by creating a simple set of maracas.


  1. Meet the Percussion Family of Instruments 
  2. 2 small plastic water bottles or 2 empty soda cans (rinsed and dried)
  3. Small dry objects such as seeds, uncooked rice, pasta, or dried beans
  4. Masking or packing tape

Teaching Sequence

  1. Provide each student with a copy of Meet the Percussion Family of Instruments.
  2. have students read about percussion instruments, particularly the maracas.
  3. Discuss with students how maracas produce sound.
  4. Have students partially fill their cans of bottles with the small dry objects.
  5. using the tape, students should close off the top of their cans or bottles, then (optional) decorate their "maracas."

Culminating Activity

Have students take turns shaking their instruments, and ask them to compare the sounds of the different materials used.


Do students demonstrate an understanding of how shaken percussion instruments produce sound?

Co-Curricular Connections/TEKS

Fine Arts - Music