Music Learning Activities Plan
"Amish Paradise" from Weird Al's Bad Hair Day
Students will need to be able to keep a steady beat so they can follow the
tapping chart. They need to be able to decipher between modern-day inventions
and materials used more in the past. They also need basic listening skills
in order to pay attention to the lyrics of the song.
- Recording of "Amish Paradise" from Weird Al's Bad Hair Day
- Tapping chart
- Pictures of Amish/non-Amish characteristics
- Students will listen attentively to the lyrics of the song and afterwards
list characteristics of Amish culture.
- Students will use pictures to decipher between Amish culture and modern-day
- Students will tap out the rhythm of the song using a tapping chart.
- Students will read the book, "Raising Yoder's Barn," then use musical instruments
to reprensent the happenings in the story.
- Students will demonstrate their understanding of parody by creating their
own lyrices to the music of an existing song of their choice.
- Students will create a dance or series of movements to represent their
understanding of Amish culture.
- Students will watch, "Weird Al" music video of Amish Paradise, as well
as a movie clip from the movie, "Withess (starring Harrison ford), in order
to gain a perspective of Amish culture.
- Students wil create original poems about Amish culture.
Have students close their eyes. Tell them to picture living in a world without
cars, electricity, television, colorful clothing, computers, and movies. Ask
them how they would feel living without these modern-day conveniences.Would
it be possible to live in such a world today?
- Hand out chart with pictures. Tell students to listen attentively to the
lyrics of the song to deterimine which pictures on the paper describe the
Amish people and which pictures do not.(Some might be both and some may be
deceiving). After the song is played, ask the students to give their input,
while commenting on the Amish culture discussed in the song.
- Hand out the tapping chart. Explain that they will tap on the chart at
the same rate throughout the song. Play the song while tapping chart with
the students. Afterwards, help students identify choruses and verses.
- Divide the students into groups of 2-4. Give each group a song which they
have to create different lyrics for. Depending on time, students would either
create a parody for one or more verses, the chorus, or the entire song.
- Read "Raising Yoder's Barn." Have students represent the story's message,
emotion, and sound (effects) using musical instruments. Have students describe
why they used the sounds they chose to depict the elements of the story.
- Divide board into two sections (Amish and other). Hand out one picture
to each student. Instruct students to listen to song while listing characteristics
of the Amish people on a sheet of paper. During the song they are also to
determine if their picture has to do with the Amish lifestyle. After the
song has played, instruct students to come up and put their picture in the
corresponding pile. List characteristics on board based on student pictures
"To close this activity, we are going to create a dance to the music of this
song which describes many characteristics of Amish culture. Based on the list
we've created from the lyrics of the song, we want to visually represent the
Amish culture through movement." Have students describe message of song (Amish)
in classroom space allotted.
Behaviors and Concepts
- Students will describe the rhythm and expressiveness of the song through
dance and/or movement.
- Students will demonstrate the rhythm of the song through various hand movements
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of the expressivenes of the
song by analyzing pictures that fit or do not fit the song.
- Students will describe Amish culture by using the lyrics from the song.
- Students will compose their own poems based on Weird Al's parody.
- Students will create their own parodies to existing songs.