Wanda Wasatch, Elaine Andante, & Allegra
Music Learning Activities Plan
Grade Level: Fourth
- Students will understand and be able to
explain the meaning of lyrics (words), melody (tune), rhythm (beat) and
timbre (type of instrument).
- Students will have a basic understanding of notation including
the differences between whole, half, quarter and eighth notes.
- CD of the song "Pick a Little, Talk a Little/ Goodnight Ladies," by Meredith
Wilson (From The Music Man) We used CD #2 from a music program published
by Silver Burdett & Ginn (1995).
- Stick pictures of talking women and chickens
- Tapping map, both large and
small individual versions.
- Colored paper (8" x 11"), markers, and 4-5 sheets
of butcher paper (36x36)
- Students will be able to verbally describe the timbres used
after listening to the piece.
- Students will be able to recognize the musical
segments of the song and demonstrate these parts by holding up the appropriate
- Students will be able to describe the rhythm and underlying beat
of both melodies by using a tapping chart.
- Students will be able to interpret
several lines of the sheet music by identifying the different notes and
their value in representing rhythm.
- Students will create puppet props to be used in the "dance." Students
will express the mood of the song by creating movements (dance) to the
will demonstrate their knowledge of the lyrics by singing as they move
to the music.
- Students will be able to share ideas as to what the song Pick a Little,
Talk a Little is all about.
- Students will be able to create new lyrics for the melody as they work
in groups to come up with ideas of activities with verbs that can be repeated
in a similar way to "Pick a Little, Talk a Little."
- Students will share
their new lyrics with the class by writing them down on a piece of butcher
paper so the whole class can sing them together and guess what the "activity"
might be, based on the lyrics.
- (Anticipatory Set) Have students listen to "Pick a Little, Talk a Little"
and see if they can identify the timbre (musical instrument being used).
(The main instrument is the "human voice" since there is
very little, if any, musical accompaniment.)
- Pass out stick pictures and
have students listen and hold them up at the appropriate time in the song.
Be sure you alternate pictures so that they
can be passed to the right in the middle of the song (during the "cheep,
cheep, cheep, cheep, cheep, cheep, cheep, cheep" part) and the students
can use a different picture. Do this several times.
- Have the students describe
the rhythm of the music by sliding their hands together.
- Hold up a large
tapping chart and discuss it. Pass out individual charts and let students
tap out the rhythm to each song individually. Discuss why some of the icons
are placed higher/lower on the chart and why some are closer together and
some further apart.
- Let students try tapping one rhythm with their right
hand while tapping the other rhythm with their left. (This is challenging
but it can be done)
- Display a tapping chart showing the actual notes and discuss
the difference between the notes, especially eighth, quarter, and half
- Explain that we need to create a "prop" for our next activity.
Pass out paper and demonstrate how to fold a "pecker". Have
students use markers to add eyes and let them use this in the next activity.
in a circle and count off in twos. The group of "ones" will move in toward
the middle of the circle when the music starts and will use their "peckers"
as they create movements to the rhythm of the Pick a Little
song. Meanwhile, the "twos" remain in the outer circle and move
to the music of "
Good Night Ladies". They could even use their peckers, if
thy want.In the middle of the song, when there are eight
consecutive "cheeps", the two groups change places (and parts). Students
should be encouraged to sing their part along with their movements. This
can be done several times!
- Discuss what the song is about (gossiping) and
ask the students to be thinking of other types of activities that we might
sing about. (Sports activities, chores, hobbies, past times, activities in
nature/weather etc). Divide the class into groups of
4-5 and have them agree on an activity and think of verbs that describe the
activity. Using some of the verbs, write a lyric that describes the activity.
Write on a large sheet of paper so it can be displayed for the class.
the class sing each of the new lyrics and guess what activity it is
Remind the students that this is a great example of one
of the fun things we can do with just a few words
and simple lyrics. Challenge them to try to create a new lyric that would describe
some thing they are learning in class (math concept, social studies subject,
science activity, etc) Close the activity by repeating the dance activity
with the "peckers"one more time.
This lesson offers a variety of behaviors by which
the students can demonstrate their knowledge
and understanding of the song: Iconic mode: describing with
pictures, puppets, and visual maps; Enactive mode using hand
and body movements, dance and singing; and the Symbolic mode as they interpreted
the musical notation and described verbally what the music represents. Writing
out their new lyrics and performing them is another example of the symbolic
mode of learning. Many of activities represented more than one learning behavior.