Beat by Beat

K, 1, 2

The learners make drums with recyclable containers and colorful craft supplies. They collaboratively write and illustrate a retelling of the story of "The Drum" and give it to a younger child. 

PrintThree 45-Minute Sessions

The learner will:

  • retell the story of "The Drum" with pictures and words.
  • perform for younger children and give them gifts.
  • printout of the group story for each child to illustrate
  • Recyclable materials (e.g., oatmeal containers, shoe boxes, large yogurt and cottage cheese containers)
  • rubber bands to secure drum tops
  • different items that can be stretched across the top to make a drum top (e.g., balloons, plastic, lids)
  • colorful ribbons, stickers, paint for decorations
  • dowels and beads for drum sticks
  • glue
  • beans, small stones, keys, shells, feathers, sequins, etc. for decorations
Teacher Preparation 

Make contact with a preschool or other group where the children can their talents. Ask the organizer of the location about their needs and the number of children in their class. Arrange the details of the visit.

Home Connection 

Ask the children to donate supplies for drum making, including a variety of recycled containers and craft supplies. Examples include empty yogurt or cottage cheese containers, tissue boxes, oatmeal cylinders, tin cans, and cardboard boxes of all different sizes. For decorating, collect scraps of interesting wallpaper and wrapping paper, sequins, stickers, buttons, feathers, yarn and ribbon, beads, foam shapes, and other found objects.


Rhythm Web, "Tube Drums." This is a good site to research about making drums before you start.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Reread the story of "The Drum."

  2. Remind the learners that they have gifts (time, talent, and treasure) to share. They are going to use their talents to give the gift of a story to preschoolers. They will make drums and storybooks of "The Drum." Guide them to make some of the decisions about the service project, such as who they perform for and how they make their books and drums. 

  3. Work together to retell the story of "The Drum." They use their own words and dialogue to make the story fun and interesting. Revise and edit it together to keep it short and interesting for a young audience.

    Before Session Three: Prepare the group story onto pages for them to illustrate, then make copies for each learner.

  4. Session Two: Display the drum-making supplies and allow creativity for each learner to make a drum that will be given as a gift. Show examples of some of the different types of drums they may make using the available supplies.

    Prepare and practice a drumming presentation to perform for the younger children they share their stories and drums with.

  5. Session Three

    Each child illustrates a copy of the story they wrote together. Practice reading the story aloud together. Give them opportunities to practice reading aloud their story to a partner.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent, or treasure intended for the common good.
  2. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark E.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.
    2. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark E.1 Provide a needed service.
      2. Benchmark E.3 Describe the task and the student role.
      3. Benchmark E.4 Demonstrate the skills needed for the successful performance of the volunteer job.