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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Music

Music Idea File

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Looking for quick lesson plan ideas or classroom activities? Try these mini-lessons tied to Arts Toolkit resources.

Primary

[K-3] The Rhythms of Our World
Students learn about rhythm and polyrhythm as they create the sounds of a rainstorm using their hands and feet. Then they make up their own rhythms inspired by listening to sounds in everyday life.

[3-5] Singing Tradition
Students learn folk songs and the stories behind them, then research folk songs that are a part of their own family or culture.
Resource: "FooBoo Woo Boo John" performed by Mike Seeger video

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Intermediate

[3-5] Singing Tradition
Students learn folk songs and the stories behind them, then research folk songs that are a part of their own family or culture.
Resource: "FooBoo Woo Boo John" performed by Mike Seeger video

[4-6] Purposes of Music
Students categorize the purposes of different pieces of music as ceremonial, recreational, or artistic expression. Then they select one or more songs in each category for a “Purposes of Music” program.
Resource: "Grass Dance Song" performed by Dennis Banks video

[4-8] Traditional Instruments
Students identify and research the origins of traditional folk instruments and present their research to the class in a creative way.
Resource: "Cluck Old Hen" and "I had a Rooster" video

[5-8] Recycled Orchestra
Students use recycled materials to make their own instruments, then compose a piece using them.
Resource: Spoons played by Malcolm Dalglish video

[5-8] Symbolic Songs of Freedom
Students research “code” songs that were sung by slaves and find the symbolism in one of the songs.
Resource: "Gospel Train" performed by Rhonda and Sparky Rucker video

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Middle

[4-6] Purposes of Music
Students categorize the purposes of different pieces of music as ceremonial, recreational, or artistic expression. Then they select one or more songs in each category for a “Purposes of Music” program.
Resource: "Grass Dance Song" performed by Dennis Banks video

[4-8] Traditional Instruments
Students identify and research the origins of traditional folk instruments and present their research to the class in a creative way.
Resource: "Cluck Old Hen" and "I had a Rooster" video

[5-8] Recycled Orchestra
Students use recycled materials to make their own instruments, then compose a piece using them.
Resource: Spoons played by Malcolm Dalglish video

[5-8] Symbolic Songs of Freedom
Students research “code” songs that were sung by slaves and find the symbolism in one of the songs.
Resource: "Gospel Train" performed by Rhonda and Sparky Rucker video

[6-8] Memory Songs
Inspired by Jean Ritchie’s “The Blue Bird Song,” students write songs about memories from their childhoods.

[6-12] True Blues
Students research the history of the blues, characteristics of a blues song, and specific types of blues. Then they present their findings to the class in creative and imaginative ways.
Resource: "Light Rain Blues" performed by Taj Mahal video

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High

[6-12] True Blues
Students research the history of the blues, characteristics of a blues song, and specific types of blues. Then they present their findings to the class in creative and imaginative ways.
Resource: "Light Rain Blues" performed by Taj Mahal video

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