I have been having 4th or 5th grade students make their own musical instruments off and on for most of my teaching career (29 years). Lately, I have been using it as part of my Introduction to Band Unit that I do during 2nd Semester with 4th Graders to get them excited about joining 5th Grade Band.
This year's unit took on new meaning for the kids, knowing that they would have their creations posted on the web! We studied the families of instruments, and sound production. Then, the students were told to go home and create their own instrument, using ordinary items not normally used to make music.
The new part for this year's 4th Grade class was in writing the essays. I had never included that in the unit, but it made perfect sense to explain their process in writing.
I don't grade the projects, but I only submitted instruments that also included the written portion of the assignment. I hope you enjoy our creations as much as we enjoyed looking at other school's submissions.