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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Music

Music Lesson Plans

PDFs of lesson plans from the printed Music Toolkit are found in the World of Music feature.
These lesson plans are in addition to the Music Toolkit lesson plans.

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Each lesson plan listing below includes the target grades, the title, a summary of the activity, and the Arts Toolkit resource used. Click on the title for the full lesson plan.

Primary

K-2 AB Form
Students will learn an Appalachian folk song and create new songs with AB form.

K-3 Music and Culture/Creating Simple Rhythms
Students make and play homemade drums.

K-3 Creating a Sound Story
Students communicate through music by creating sounds to accompany a children’s story.

1-4 Body Percussion
Students learn about body percussion, play quarter notes and eighth notes, and experience early African-American folk and cultural music.

3-5 Appalachian Folk Music

  • Students complete a guided listening activity
  • Complete a KWL Chart (or another type of organizational chart) about Appalachian music and culture. (Add to the L part of the chart throughout the unit)
  • Create a flowchart showing the lineage of traditional Appalachian music (Use this flowchart as a note-taking device throughout the unit.)
  • Learn the Appalachian folk song, "Billy Boy"
  • Participate in Appalachian Party Play games
  • Sing various Appalachian folk songs

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Intermediate

1-4 Body Percussion
Students learn about body percussion, play quarter notes and eighth notes, and experience early African-American folk and cultural music.

3-5 Appalachian Folk Music

  • Students complete a guided listening activity
  • Complete a KWL Chart (or another type of organizational chart) about Appalachian music and culture. (Add to the L part of the chart throughout the unit)
  • Create a flowchart showing the lineage of traditional Appalachian music (Use this flowchart as a note-taking device throughout the unit.)
  • Learn the Appalachian folk song, "Billy Boy"
  • Participate in Appalachian Party Play games
  • Sing various Appalachian folk songs

4-5 Exploring Artistic Expression
Students identify whether or not a song has an artistic purpose and, in small groups, form arguments for why music has a particular purpose or why it doesn't.
Video: "Grass Dance Song" performed by Dennis Banks

4-5 Musical Styles
Students explore and compare/contrast a variety of musical styles.

4-5 Comparing Native American and American Folk Music
Students explore similarities and differences between Native American and American folk music.

4-8 Musical Elements
Students will identify and analyze music fundamentals in the performance of Indonesian Gamelan music. Students will learn and perform a brief, modified version of Gamelan music.

4-8 Musical Elements
Students will identify and analyze music fundamentals in the performance of Indonesian Gamelan music. Students will learn and perform a brief, modified version of Gamelan music.

5-8 Traditional Guitar Styles
Students listen to, research, and try out traditional styles of playing guitar.

5-8 Exploring Fiddle Styles
Students explore various styles of fiddle playing and their connections to different parts of the United States and the world.

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Middle

4-8 Musical Elements
Students will identify and analyze music fundamentals in the performance of Indonesian Gamelan music. Students will learn and perform a brief, modified version of Gamelan music.

4-8 Musical Elements
Students will identify and analyze music fundamentals in the performance of Indonesian Gamelan music. Students will learn and perform a brief, modified version of Gamelan music.

5-8 Traditional Guitar Styles
Students listen to, research, and try out traditional styles of playing guitar.

5-8 Exploring Fiddle Styles
Students explore various styles of fiddle playing and their connections to different parts of the United States and the world.

7 Medieval Plainchant
Students learn about the contributions of medieval composer Hildegard of Bingen and about the characteristics of plainchant.

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High

9-12 Ragtime and Swing
Students explore the evolution of ragtime and swing music.

9-12 Elements of Jazz
Students analyze a piece of jazz music and compose a piece of their own.

9-12 Jazz and Marching Bands
Students learn about the early days of jazz in New Orleans and compare early New Orleans marching bands to contemporary marching bands.

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The following lesson plans are not part of the Arts Toolkit:

9-12 Arts in a Spin: Qualities of the Baroque Style
Students watch a video that highlights the musical genius of Bach and analyze the Baroque style in both music and sculpture.

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