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Chinese Dragon Drum

Calling all percussionists! Drums are easy to learn to play and their sounds are recognized around the world. These red Chinese replicas are gorgeous to look at, too.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Drums (gu) are a very important part of Chinese culture. A Chinese character representing "drum" was first inscribed on bones and shells about 3000 years ago. Find out about events in China that feature drums. Chinese Dragon Drums are red and often ornate. Students research the importance of this color to Chinese people. Then they create a replica of a Chinese drum.
    2. Cover and decorate the drum. Wrap a large plastic or paper cylinder with red construction paper. Cut the paper to fit with Crayola® Scissors. Seal the edges with Crayola School Glue.
    3. Look at pictures of Chinese Dragon Drums. You will see that they are decorated with many different patterns. Use Crayola Gel Markers to create a similar pattern on your drum’s covering.
    4. Add a drum head. A drum head is what you strike to make sounds. Use fabric (or leather or rubber from an old inner tube if you have it) that is cut slightly larger than the container opening. Place the head on top of the drum. Fasten it in place with a thick, tight rubber band.
    5. Make drum sticks. Use two Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils as drumsticks. Place a small ball of Crayola Model Magic over the tip of each pencil, fastening it in place with a drop of Crayola School Glue. Air-dry the Model Magic overnight. It’s time to celebrate with Chinese drumming!
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the complexity band proficiently.

    LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    LA: Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    SS: Describe how people create places that reflect ideas, personality, culture, and wants and needs as they design homes, playgrounds, classrooms, and the like.

    SS: Examine the interactions of human beings and their physical environment, the use of land, building of cities, and ecosystem changes in selected locales and regions.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of their ideas.

    VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

  • Adaptations

    In small groups, students research other drum types found in China. Encourage students to compare/contrast the drums of China to the drums used in another country, such as Africa and the Caribbean.

    Students create several different sizes of drums and compare the sounds that they make. As a team, practice making rhythmic music on the set of drums. Have a team member audio-record your music.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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