Resource 1: Sound story

Teacher resource for planning or adapting to use with pupils

The swallowing drum

A small girl, an only child, lives with her parents in a certain village. Because of a terrible unspoken local danger, she is never let out of her parent’s sight nor allowed to go and play with other children. She feels like a prisoner in her own home and longs to be independent like the other children.

One day, she gets a chance to slip away when her father falls asleep after lunch. The mother has gone to work in the fields and the girl hopes to surprise her there. She is not certain of the way and when the path splits into two, she chooses the cool path by the river rather than the hot path over the hill.

After a while she comes across a small little drum, beating itself …

‘Bim! Bim! Bim! Little Girl! Little Girl, go back home.’

But the little girl is curious and she carries on regardless. Around another corner she comes across a middle-sized drum beating itself …

‘Bam! Bam! Bam! Little Girl! Little Girl, go back home.’

But the little girl is curious and she slips past the drum and carries on. Further on, what do you think she finds? Yes, A big drum beating itself …

‘Bom! Bom! Bom! Little Girl! Little Girl, go back home.’

Really curious, the little girl ignores this warning too. The path comes to the edge of the forest and as she enters the dark forest the trees close behind her.

She can only go on now – but there is a terrible drumming noise in the forest. She comes to a clearing and faces a truly enormous drum. It is the swallowing drum – the terrible danger that her parents were so terrified might get her. She gets swallowed by the drum and, as she falls to the bottom, other people and animals rush up asking her if she has anything sharp with her. But she hasn’t. All she can see as she looks up from her new prison is the slit of the mouth of the drum and a huge wooden heart beating …

Ba-boom! Ba-Boom! BA-BOOM!

Back home her parents are devastated when they discover her missing and see where her footprints lead. The father weeps and cries and covers himself with ashes from the fire. But her mother doesn’t rest – she goes around the village borrowing sharp things and she stays up the whole night stitching them carefully into the inner lining of her cloak.

The next day she sets out for the forest. She sees no drums but as she enters the forest, the trees close behind her.

She comes to the clearing and faces the terrifying swallowing drum, who asks, ‘Yes fat woman! What do you want!’ Before she can answer, she too is swallowed and the people rush to her asking if she has sharp things. But she first asks to see her daughter and then she shows them the sharp things. The men in the drum stand against the wall of the drum and the women stand on their shoulders. The young boys climb up with the sharp things and begin to chop away at the wooden heart…

BA-BOOM! Ba- boom! Ba-boom, b-bm

When the heart stopped beating, they chopped their way out of the drum, ran back to the village to fetch help and the dangerous swallowing drum was chopped into pieces. The people in that village had good firewood for more than a year.

3. Exploring musical instruments

Resource 2: Sound waves – teacher notes