Lesson 3: The rhythm of the forest floor

Children begin their rainforest compositions with the forest floor and understory layers, creating body percussion rhythms to suit the movement of the animals within each of the two layers

Before the lesson

Download classroom resources

Learning objective

  • To create musical rhythms using body percussion

National curriculum

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression
  • Improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music

Success criteria

Cross-curricular links

Attention grabber

Main event


Pupils needing extra support: Could focus only on the forest floor rhythms, which are more straightforward. Once they are confident with these, try combining groups, so that these children can play with others who are also playing the understorey rhythms.


Pupils working at greater depth: Could create their own understorey rhythms that work with the forest floor rhythms.

Wrapping up

Assessing pupils' progress and understanding


Created by:
Laura Barr,  
Music specialist
In her 14 year teaching career, Laura assumed the role of Music Lead, and was Head of Music in a large secondary school. Laura has a passion for working with children with a disadvantaged background, either through deprivation or disability,…
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