Chinese Dragon Drum

Chinese Dragon Drum lesson plan

Calling all percussionists! Drums are easy to learn to play and their sounds are recognized around the world. These red Chinese replicas are gorgeous to look at, too.

  • 1.

    Drums (gu) are a very important part of Chinese culture. A Chinese character representing "drum" was first inscribed on bones and shells about 3000 years ago. Find out about events in China that feature drums. Chinese Dragon Drums are red and often ornate. Research the importance of this color to Chinese people. Then create a replica of a Chinese drum.

  • 2.

    <STRONG>Cover and decorate the drum.</STRONG> Wrap a large plastic or paper cylinder with red construction paper. Cut the paper to fit with Crayola® Scissors. Seal the edges with Crayola School Glue.

  • 3.

    Look at pictures of Chinese Dragon Drums. You will see that they are decorated with many different patterns. Use Crayola Gel Markers to create a similar pattern on your drum’s covering.

  • 4.

    <STRONG>Add a drum head.</STRONG> A drum head is what you strike to make sounds. Use fabric (or leather or rubber from an old inner tube if you have it) that is cut slightly larger than the container opening. Place the head on top of the drum. Fasten it in place with a thick, tight rubber band.

  • 5.

    <STRONG>Make drum sticks</STRONG>. Use two Crayola Colored Pencils as drumsticks. Place a small ball of Crayola Model Magic over the tip of each pencil, fastening it in place with a drop of Crayola School Glue. Air-dry the Model Magic overnight. It’s time


  • Children research the uses of drums in Chinese culture.
  • Children learn the significance of the color red in China.
  • Children create a replica of a red Chinese Dragon Drum.


  • Research other drum styles found in China. Compare and contrast the drums of China to the drums of another country, such as Africa and the Caribbean.
  • Create several different sizes of drums, and the compare sounds that they make. Use them to make rhythmic music.
  • Assessment: Look for authenticity of the patterns on the drum and the care with which the drum was constructed.