Harry’s Horrible Hair – Scavenger Hunt

Suggested Age Range: K-2


The learner will…

  • Match visual clues with corresponding rhythm cards
  • Compose body and instrumental percussion for found rhythm clues
  • Perform each found rhythm for each specific section in the story
  • Reinforce rhythm reading



  • Meet Harry, a downhearted little dog who is saddened by the stares and laughter of others who only see his horrible hair. When his friend Miss Maggie knits him a handsome sweater to hide his messy hair, Harry quickly gains confidence. But when disaster strikes and his patchy hair is once again revealed, Harry wonders if others will ever see him for what he’s like on the inside—not just the outside.


  • Prior to the class entering the classroom, the teachers hides the visual flashcards for “Harry’s Horrible Hair” around the classroom.
  • At the beginning of the class, the teachers holds up each prepared rhythm card for “Harry’s Horrible Hair”.
  • Before the story is read aloud, encourage the students to pay close attention to the pictures in the book.
  • Teacher begins to read, “Harry’s Horrible Hair.”
  • After reading aloud, the teacher explains to the class that there are seven pictures from the story hidden around the room.
  • Divide students into groups. Give each group a rhythm card that will match the picture card from the story.  Scavenger hunt time!
  • (Note:  If it’s too hectic to send all groups looking for their picture clues, send two groups at a time.
  • When each group returns to their spot, bring their rhythm card and picture card to the teacher.
  • Ask the group to take turns and say their rhythms aloud and ask if that rhythm matches their picture card.
  • When each student in the group can say their rhythms, ask them to take turns and tap their rhythms.
  • Each group then returns to work together and choose unpitched percussion instruments that can accompany their rhythm card. Set a time limit or I use a signal like a drum or clapping rhythm to end the group work.     
  • Then groups take turns saying and performing their rhythms for the class.
  • Remind students of their performance etiquette while others are performing. 
  • Discuss with students what they liked about each performance.  
  • As Teacher reads, “Harry’s Horrible Hair”, once again, each group will perform their rhythmic phrase that correlates with their illustration in the story as the teacher pauses before turning the page.
  • Note: It may not be possible to add all the rhythmic phrases in one reading.  Depending on the class, I will pick two groups at a time to add their phrases while reading the book. 


  • For older students, I have hidden the rhythm cards around the room. Then students will look for a visual card that matches the rhythm.
  • When I want to reinforce rhythm reading, I will line up the rhythm flashcards on the board ledge.  Then I will play a rhythm without saying the words and ask,
    “Who can find the rhythm?”
  • Set up a C pentatonic scale on several Orff instruments or enough for each group. 
  • Each group receives a rhythm flashcard and let the groups explore and create a melody for their phrase which can be used for book reading. Some students can write down the rhythm, while others in the group create a melody.  These are ideas that I have used, but please feel free to adapt  and tailor to your classroom.

Purchase a copy of Theresa’s book here

Download her scavenger hunt flashcards here

Download a pdf of Theresa’s lesson plan here

For more music lessons inspired by Harry and his horrible hair, click here

Theresa Cocci

Theresa Cocci, currently teaches Early Childhood Music in Reading, PA. She has over twenty-nine years teaching experience in the classroom and instructs private piano. Having earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education , she has earned her Orff Schulwerk Music Certification from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. Additional graduate course work includes studies in Early Childhood Music with Dr. John Feierabend, at West Chester University and graduate work with Peter and Alice Amidon at the University of Hartford. Her professional affiliations include member of AOSA, member at large for the Philadelphia Area Orff Association, Music Teachers National Association and a member of the Society of Book Writers and Illustrators. Theresa is a Certified Instructor for the Pennsylvania Quality Assurance Program and provides in-service workshops for early childhood classroom instructors.

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