Wanda Wasatch, Elaine Andante, & Allegra DaCapo
Music 3824
Music Learning Activities Plan

Grade Level: Fourth

Previous Knowledge:



  1. Students will be able to verbally describe the timbres used after listening to the piece.
  2. Students will be able to recognize the musical segments of the song and demonstrate these parts by holding up the appropriate stick picture.
  3. Students will be able to describe the rhythm and underlying beat of both melodies by using a tapping chart.
  4. Students will be able to interpret several lines of the sheet music by identifying the different notes and their value in representing rhythm.
  5. 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 music.
  6. Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the lyrics by singing as they move to the music.
  7. Students will be able to share ideas as to what the song Pick a Little, Talk a Little is all about.
  8. 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."
  9. 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.

Procedures/ Activities:

  1. (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.)
  2. 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.
  3. Have the students describe the rhythm of the music by sliding their hands together.
  4. 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.
  5. 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)
  6. Display a tapping chart showing the actual notes and discuss the difference between the notes, especially eighth, quarter, and half notes.
  7. 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.
  8. Stand 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!
  9. 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.
  10. Let 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.