Lessons & Units :: Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin Kindergarten Unit

Read-Aloud Lesson: Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin

Lesson Plan

Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin | Non-Prose

Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin
Learning Goal
Students will identify how the author carefully chooses words to describe what instruments look like and sound like. Students will also be able to explain that an orchestra is made up of many musicians playing different instruments.
Part 1: Approximately 20 minutes
Part 2: Approximately 10-15 minutes
Part 3: Approximately 10-15 minutes
Necessary Materials

1. Detailed lesson plan
2. Graphic organizer for guided practice
3. Independent student worksheet

Not Provided:
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin

  1. This lesson is a close reading of the entire text. So it’s important to engage students often, to enhance their learning. Here are two tips:

    •   When you ask the more complex questions from the lesson, ask students to “turn-and-talk” or “buddy-talk” before answering.

    •   Once you are deep into the lesson, instead of asking students every question provided, ask them to share with you what questions they should be asking themselves at that point in the text. This is also a great opportunity to use "turn-and-talk."
  2. Suggested teacher language is included in the lesson.

  3. We recommend you read the book once to your students, either the day or morning before teaching the lesson.

  4. This research-based, read-aloud lesson may seem long. Why do students need the lesson to be this way?

Part 1: Teacher Modeling & Questioning


Write the following student-friendly learning goal on the board, then read the learning goal out loud with the class:

We will look at the way the author carefully chooses words to describe to us what different instruments look like and sound like.

Transition Students into the Text

Teacher says: Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin is a book about musical instruments. Zin! Zin! Zin! Mooooaaaaaannnnn. These are some of the sounds instruments can make. Let’s read to see what instruments are in this book.

Read page 1 out loud, then stop. Page 1 ends with, “...is playing SOLO.”
Teacher asks students (pointing to the trombone): What is the name of this instrument?
Students answer: It is a trombone.
Teacher says: A trombone sounds like a mournful moan. A moan is a long, low sound. Say the word “moan” as long and low as you can, like this: mooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnn.
Students answer: Mooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnn.
Teachers says: That is what a trombone sounds like.
Teacher asks: We also read that “alone comes one trombone.” How many trombones are there?
Students answer: There is one trombone.
Read more
Teacher says: A musician is a person who plays an instrument. So the man playing the trombone is a musician.
Teacher asks: In the illustration, how many musicians are playing a trombone?
Students answer: One musician is playing a trombone.
Read page 4 out loud, then stop. Page 4 ends with, “…they’re a DUO.”
Teacher asks (pointing to the trumpet): Which instrument joins the trombone?
Students answer: The trumpet joins the trombone.
Teacher says: A musician is a person who plays an instrument. So the man playing the trombone is a musician. And the woman playing the trumpet is a musician. Both of them are musicians.
Teacher asks: How many musicians are playing now?
Students answer: Two musicians are playing now.
Teacher says (models thinking): I am going to make a prediction. On the first page there was just one musician playing a trombone. When we turned the page, there was another musician playing a different instrument called a trumpet. I predict that when we turn the page again, we will meet another musician playing a different instrument. Let’s see if my prediction is correct.
Read page 6 out loud, then stop. Page 6 ends with, “...what a TRIO!”
Teacher asks: Was my prediction correct that there would be three musicians playing different instruments?
Students answer: Yes, the prediction was correct.
Teacher asks: Now it’s your turn to make a prediction. At the beginning there was one musician playing alone. Then we turned the page, and there was another musician. So there were two musicians playing together. Then we turned the page again, and there was another musician. All three musicians were playing their instruments together. What do you predict we will see when we turn the page again?

Students answer (responses may vary and include the following):

  • There will be another musician.
  • There will be four musicians playing their instruments together.
  • There will be a different instrument.
Read page 7 out loud, then stop. Page 7 ends with, “...that’s FOUR.”
Teacher says: There are now four musicians. One is playing a trombone, one is playing a trumpet, one is playing a French horn, and one is playing a cello [CHEL-oh]. The cello is another musical instrument. We read that it has a “neck.” What does it mean for an instrument to have a neck? Let’s see if we can figure that out.
Teacher asks: We all have necks on our bodies. Please point at your neck to show me where it is.
Students answer: Students should respond by pointing at their neck.
Teacher asks: Where on your body is your neck? Is it near the top of your body, the middle of your body, or the bottom of your body?
Students answer: My neck is near the top of my body.
Teacher says: If our necks are near the top of our bodies, and a cello has a neck, that makes me think the neck of a cello would be near the top of the instrument.
Teacher asks: Look at the picture of the cello. Which part of the cello is the neck?
Students answer: Students answer (responses may vary but should resemble the following): The neck of the cello is the black part that the woman is holding.
Read page 9 out loud, then stop. Page 9 ends with, “...FIVE.”
Teacher asks: Now we meet the violin. What is the high sound the violin makes?
Students answer: “Zin! Zin! Zin!”
Read page 12 out loud, then stop. Page 12 ends with, “…that's SIX.”
Teacher says: We read that the flute is a slender, silver sliver. These words tell us what the flute looks like. “Slender” means skinny, and a sliver is a thin piece of something. So the flute is a thin, skinny instrument.
Teacher asks: What does the flute look like?
Students answer: Responses may vary in wording but should recognize that the flute is thin and silver.
Read pages 13-15, then stop. Page 15 ends with, “...that’s EIGHT.”
Teacher says: Now we meet an instrument called the oboe [OH-boh]. The author uses the word “bleating” to tell us what an oboe sounds like. Bleating is the sound that lambs and goats make.
Teacher asks: Lambs and goats go BAAAH-AAAAH-AAAAAH-AHH! Can you make a sound like a lamb or a goat?
Students answer: BAAAH-AAAAH-AAAAAH-AHH!
Teacher says: That is what an oboe sounds like.
Read pages 18-19 out loud, then stop. Page 19 ends with, “A CHAMBER GROUP of TEN.”
Teacher asks: Let’s count all of the musicians together.
Looking at the illustration together, point to each of the ten musicians as you count to ten together.
Teacher says: Ten musicians! When many musicians play their instruments together, it is called an orchestra. An orchestra is a group of many musicians playing their instruments together.
Read page 22 out loud, then stop. Page 22 ends with, “...begin!”
Teacher asks: Now pretend you are one of the musicians in this orchestra. You can play any instrument we have read about. When I count to three, I want you to make the sound of that instrument. If you choose a trombone, that means you are going to mooooooooaaaaaaaan. If you choose a violin, you will go “Zin! Zin! Zin!” If you choose an oboe, you will go “BAAAH-AAAAH-AAAAAH-AHH!” Close your eyes and choose your instrument. Get ready . . . 1, 2, 3!
Students answer: Students moan like trombones, bleat like oboes, and so on.
Teacher says: That is a bit like what an orchestra sounds like. Now let’s see what words the book uses to tell us how this orchestra sounds.
Note to Teacher: On page 24, explain that “soar” means “go high” and that “roar” means “make a very loud noise.”
Read the remainder of the book, pages 24-27.
Teacher asks: How many musicians were there in this orchestra?

Students answer (both of the following are acceptable):

  • There were many musicians in the orchestra.
  • There were ten musicians in the orchestra.
Note to Teacher: If students answer that there were “ten” musicians in this orchestra, acknowledge the accuracy of the response. At the same time, explain that an orchestra does not have to be made up of exactly ten musicians. An orchestra is simply a group of musicians playing together.
Teacher asks: Were different instruments being played in the orchestra, or were all of the musicians playing the same instrument?
Students answer: They were playing different instruments.


Teacher says: Let’s finish by summarizing two important facts we learned about orchestras.
Teacher asks: Do orchestras have many musicians in them, or just one or two musicians in them?
Students answer: Orchestras have many musicians in them.
Teacher asks: Do orchestras have different types of instruments in them or just one type of instrument?
Students answer: Orchestras have different types of instruments in them.

Part 2: Guided Practice & Discussion

For this oral lesson, we recommend having students “turn-and-talk” to answer the following questions, including the final main discussion question.
Teacher asks: What were the names of some of the instruments we read about in Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin?
Students answer: Answers can vary, as long as the instruments named are mentioned specifically in this book. It is not important that students list them all.
Teacher asks: Is one musician enough to make an orchestra? Why or why not?
Students answer: One musician is not enough to make an orchestra. An orchestra has a large group of musicians.
Teacher asks: Is one instrument enough to make an orchestra? Why or why not?
Students answer: One instrument is not enough to make an orchestra. An orchestra is made up of different instruments.
Teacher asks: Let’s summarize what you just told me about an orchestra. What do we need to make an orchestra?
Students answer: We need many musicians who play different instruments to make an orchestra.
Main Discussion Question.
Please show the two-page illustration of the orchestra playing to the crowd, on the second and third-to-last pages of the book.
Teacher asks: Describe what you see, and see happening, in this scene.
Students answer: Answers will vary, but students should describe the musicians, instruments, and audience.

Part 3: Student Independent Practice

Read each question out loud to your students and have each student complete the worksheet independently. For questions 5 A) and 6, you can have students draw their answers, answer orally, or write their answers depending on your students’ progress. If you have them write their answers, you may want to write the word(s) on the board for them to copy.

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

(To see all of the ReadWorks lessons aligned to your standards, click here.)

User Comments

Very helpful.

Once again thanks for the independent practice sheets they are extremely helpful!!
Thank you!!

The student's independent practice sheets are extremely helpful!.
Thank you!

Very helpful!
Thank you so much for sharing.
J. Davis