Booming Patterns


Math and Music

  • 30-45 Minutes


  • 1 classroom set of Boomwhackers
  • Index cards in Roy G. Biv colors labeled with ones, tens and hundreds


Step 1: Students review units of ones, tens and hundreds in math.

Step 2: Have students get into groups of 3-4 and hand each group a stack of colored index cards. The index cards should be in Roy G. Biv colors and on one side contain a number in the ones, tens or hundreds, with lighter colors being higher numbers and lower numbers being darker colors.

Step 3: Have students arrange their cards in a pattern, first by color. Then, show students the class set of Boomwhackers. Ask them what they notice (ie: same colors as cards, different sizes, tube shape, etc).

Step 4: Show students how to play the Boomwhackers (tapping them lightly on any surface, hand or on the body) and that each different color makes a different sound because the colors are associated with the size of the tube. The longer tubes make lower sounds and the shorter tubes make higher sounds.

Step 5: Have students match their colored index cards with the same color Boomwhackers and “play” their pattern for the class.

Step 6: Repeat steps 3-5, but this time arrange the cards in a pattern with the numbers on the cards. See if playing this pattern sounds any different.

Step 7: Review why patterns are important (they make solving an equation or playing music easier) and how they can be used in different situations.



Students can successfully perform a self-created pattern with their boomwhackers that uses ones, tens or hundreds.

Students can use their index cards as their music notation.