Same & Different

Author: Rebecca Penerosa
Year: 2015
Artform: Music
Subjects: Social Studies
Grade: Kindergarten
Duration: 30 minutes

In this lesson, kindergartners will learn about their similarities and differences to others. In particular, timbre and vocal qualities will be determined to show which child is singing. Personal characteristics will also be explored. Kindergartners will also learn about the different traffic signals and their uses. The purpose of these signals will help instruct their singing.


  • Traffic signals on large popsicle sticks or paint stirring sticks:
  • Red traffic light
  • Yellow traffic light
  • Green traffic light
  • Yield sign
  • Stop sign
  • Merge sign
  • White gloves and police hat
  • Classroom space with room for one chair in the middle
  • Who’s that tapping at the Window song
  • Guitar, piano, ukulele, or other accompaniment instrument
Download PDF Lesson Plan

Standards & Objectives

Fine Art Standards
Integrated Standards


Develop and use skills to communicate ideas, information, and feelings.

Describe sounds in terms of dynamics (loud/soft), pitch (high/low), duration (long/short; fast/slow), and timbre (tone of an animal, human, musical instrument, or machine).

Develop competency in beat accuracy and respond to an understanding of beat as a life force through moving, singing, chanting, or playing instruments.


(Culture): Students will recognize and describe how individuals and families are both similar and different.


Identify how individuals are similar and different.


(Citizenship): Students will recognize their roles and responsibilities of being a good citizen.


Demonstrate appropriate ways to behave in different settings.


Identify and demonstrate safe practices in the home and classroom.

c. Recognize and explain common traffic symbols

• Use common traffic signals to direct song of choice – ie: stop, go, slow

  • Students will begin to understand personal characteristics that differ from one person to another, including vocal timbre.
  • Students will receive the opportunity to solo sing and develop their personal singing voice.
  • Students will gain exposure to basic traffic signals and understand their use.

Teaching and Timeline


Tell your students that today you will be learning about differences in people and in the world around them. Begin to make a class list of differences we can see or hear among people. Facilitate this discussion so that the children discover that their voices (both speaking and singing) are different. Next, make a list of the different traffic signals they see in the world around them.


By rote, teach “Who’s that tapping at the window?”

After the class sings the song successfully twice through without teacher assistance, place one chair in the middle of the room.

Choose one child to be blindfolded in the chair. That child will have to guess which two classmates were singing the solos to the song.

With eyes closed and a blindfold on, choose your two soloists. (Be sure to leave them scattered throughout the room)

Instruct the entire class to sing “Who’s that tapping at the window?, Who’s that knocking at the door?”

Take the blindfold off the child in the middle of the room and have him/her guess who the soloists were and reveal why.

Repeat this activity with a new child chosen to sit in the middle. Bring in more descriptive factors by allowing the soloists to give clues in their response: for example, “Blue eyes tapping at the window” or “Brown hair knocking at the door”.

Work Period

Differences not only exist between people or living things, but also in objects we see around us every day. Traffic signals are an important part of our surroundings that keep us moving safely.

Review the list of traffic signals listed on the board in the beginning of class. Show the students the traffic signals on sticks. (Students may also make these with construction paper, glue, and large popsicle sticks).

Choose a favorite song of the children – perhaps a class song, school song, holiday song, or you may teach a new one of your choosing.

Sing through the song a cappella to be sure the class knows it very well. Introduce the traffic signals (begin with only red, yellow, and green circles).

Review their purpose.

Use these traffic signals to direct the song in which children will sing normally when the green signal is being raised. When the red signal is raised, children will stop signing entirely. Naturally, when the yellow signal is raised, children will sing slowly.

One child may be chosen to hold the traffic signals and direct traffic. A white glove and police hat may be used to bring to life the character of the director!

When the children are comfortable with this activity, you may introduce the yield and merge signs used when the class is divided into two groups of singers. The yield sign pointed towards one group will instruct them to decrescendo into pianissimo singing. Then merge sign with instruct that group to crescendo back to normal volume of singing, etc…


For a closing activity, students may continue to use the traffic signals to direct the chosen song. The teacher will accompany the students this time and pay no attention to the signals. This will require the students to fade out and come back in intermittently testing how well they know the lyrics to the song!


Music lends itself so readily to lesson plans for young children. Little children naturally move and sing. By solidifying concepts such as same/different in persons and in society.

  • How are we similar and/or different?
  • What are some commonly used traffic signals?
  • What are some techniques for proper singing?
  • Characteristic
  • Similar
  • Different
  • Traffic Signal
  • Yield
  • Merge
  • Solo

Students with diverse needs may find that the first activity in this lesson is for all abilities. Later in the lesson, students will need to hold signs. If this is difficult for one or more of your students, you may choose to use an app on the iPad with picture of the traffic signals for ease of use.


Utilize the correct singing rubric to assess where each student stands vocally.

The activities listed in the lesson plan offer visual and aural assessment opportunities for correct singing as well as for correct interpretations of the traffic signals.

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