Lesson Plan #1
The Little Drummer Boy
I. Grade Level: Grade 3 General Music Class
II. Musical Concept: Music may move in relation to the underlying steady beat or shortest pulse.
III. Observable Learning Outcomes: Students will be better able to feel the rhythm of “The Little Drummer Boy” first by speaking the words of the song and then by creating music with the aid of icons.
IV. Students’ Prior Knowledge: A 3rd grade background is assumed—a prior experience with this type of visual aid, experience with rhythm in general and creating music.
V. National and State Standard(s) Addressed in Lesson: Improvising melodies, variations and accompaniments (9.1) and listening to, analyzing and describing music (9.3, 9.4)
VI. Materials Used:
1. CD: “Traditional Christmas Classics”; track #10: “The Little Drummer Boy” Length: 3 minutes and 18 seconds
2. Handouts with printed lyrics of “The Little Drummer Boy”
3. Candy canes
4. Homemade chart
5. Ornament of a little drummer boy
1. Introduction: “Good morning, class! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving break! Who can believe November is almost over?! What month are we heading into in a few days?” Class responds “December”. “Very good. And what holiday will we celebrate in December?” Students respond, “Christmas!” “Very good, class. Well, today I have a song for you about Christmas, and I brought along a friend to help me.” Teacher will show ornament to the class. “This is ‘Danny the Drummer Boy’ and the song we’re about to listen to is his favorite Christmas song. But before we listen to the music, I’d like us to take a look at the words of the song first.
2. Teacher will pass out papers with the printed lyrics of “The Little Drummer Boy” to the class.
3. “I’d like to read this aloud as a class and as we read, please pay attention to the natural rhythm you feel as your classmates read the words and as you follow the words silently in your heads. Who would like to read the first verse?”
i. Students volunteer and read
4. “Thank you, -insert name here-. And the second verse?”
i. Students volunteer and read
5. “Thank you, -insert name here-. And who will read the last verse for us?”
i. Students volunteer and read.
6. “Did you feel a natural rhythm just from speaking the words?” Students respond. “Now, as we listen to the song, we’re going to keep the beat, but I’d like you to keep that natural flow in mind. Also, please be thinking about what words in the song represent the sound of the drum.”
i. Teacher will play track #10 “The Little Drummer Boy” from “Traditional Christmas Classics”.
7. “So which part represented the drum?” Students respond “pa rum pum pum pum”.
8. Teacher will introduce poster with icons. “Now, we’re going to drum along with the song using this chart. Don’t worry, I’ll help you. But wait a minute—we’re forgetting something, aren’t we? What does every drummer need to play his or her drum?” Students respond “drum sticks”. “I have a surprise for you—I have drum sticks, but not just any drum sticks. I have candy canes for you to use! But, we need to be very careful. We wouldn’t want to break our drum sticks, now would we? I’m going to come around and set two candy canes on each of your desks. Please do NOT pick them up until I tell you to.”
i. Teacher will hand out candy canes—two per student.
9. Teacher will give students a few moments to experiment with candy canes. “All right, you can touch your ‘drumsticks’ now. Go ahead and play with them for a few moments. When I put my hand in the air, I’d like you to stop what you’re doing and be ready to continue.”
i. Students will play with their candy canes.
10. Teacher will raise hand and students will stop. “Now, I’m going to play the song again and we will gently drum along by following the chart. I’ll point as you drum.”
i. Teacher will play “The Little Drummer Boy” and point to the chart as the students drum along. Repeat if necessary.
11. “Wonderful job today, class. Next class, we’ll look at a song from the African Christmas tradition, which is called ‘Kwanzaa’. And since you behaved so well with your candy canes, I’m going to let you take them home for a treat! But please don’t eat them in your next classes. Keep them in your book bags until you are at home. Have a great day!”
VII. Assessment: Teacher will assess students during the lesson by asking questions to check students’ focus. Teacher will observe how students respond to drumming and if they can follow the icon chart.
Lesson Plan #2
Up is Down
I. Grade Level: Grade 2 General Music Class
II. Musical Concept: Musical elements are combined into a whole to express a musical or extra-musical idea.
III. Observable Learning Outcomes:
1. Students will be able to finish a story based on what the music tells them.
2. Students will be able to concentrate on a listening example and give specific qualities from the music that cause them to feel our “story” should move in that particular direction.
IV. Students Prior Knowledge: A 2nd grade background is assumed.
1. Listening experience.
2. An ability to focus on what they are hearing.
3. An ability to vocally express their thoughts.
V. National and State Standard(s) Addressed in the Lesson:
1. Listening to, analyzing and describing music (9.3, 9.4)
2. Understanding relationships between music, the other arts and disciplines outside the arts (9.2)
VI. Materials Used:
1. Book: “The Barefoot Books of Pirates” by Richard Walker; page 42 “Music Charms the Pirates”
CD: “Pirates of the
3. Paper for students to draw pictures
4. Board space to write student responses
5. Board space to hang pictures
6. Scotch tape to hang pictures
7. Students will enter to teacher dressed in a pirate hat
1. Introduction: “Arg, g’morning, maties! I hope you’re ready for a pirate filled day! Let’s get in the mood—let me hear you say ‘ARG’!” Students will respond.
a. Transition: “What’s a pirate themed day without a good pirate story? I have a very special story for you today about a boy named ‘Mochimitsu’ who crosses paths with some pirates. Listen very carefully to the story and we will discuss it afterwards.”
2. Teacher will read the story “Music Charms the Pirates”
3. Teacher will then ask questions about the reading which students will be expected to respond to. Questions will include, but are not limited to
a. What instrument does Mochimitsu play?
b. Where is Mochimitsu from?
c. How does Mochimitsu convince the pirates to let him go?
4. Transition: “That’s one kind of pirate story that’s out there. I have an idea—why don’t we create our own by listening to some music! But first, we need to take a closer look at the music that I’ve brought for you today.”
5. “As I play this song, please be thinking about what in the music tells you this song is about a pirate? What types of things in the music make you think of a pirate?”
Teacher will play track
#5 “Up Is Down” from “The Pirates of the
6. Teacher will ask students, “So, what made you think of a pirate as you listened and why?” Students will respond and teacher will write responses on the board. Sample answers teacher is looking for:
7. Transition: “Wonderful job, class! You must have had your good listening ears on, which is great. You’ll need them for what we’re going to do next!”
8. “Now, we’re going to create our own pirate story from the music we hear. Let’s name our pirate. Who has a really good pirate name they would like to share?” Students will respond. If need be, a vote will be taken on a name. For this lesson plan’s purposes, we’ll call our character “Captain Jack”.
9. “Close your eyes and picture Captain Jack. Do you have your picture? Good.”
10. Teacher will then right the headings “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8” on the board. “Now, I’m going to stop the song 8 times and each time, we’ll decide what you think is happening to Captain Jack.”
a. Teacher will play the track from the beginning and stop at 0:18 and ask students what Captain Jack is doing. Answers will be written on the board under heading “1”.
b. Teacher will play the track from 0:18 and stop at 0:33. Teacher will then ask students what Captain Jack is doing. Answers will be written on the board under heading “2”.
c. Teacher will play the track from 0:33 and stop at 0:43. Teacher will then ask students what Captain Jack is doing. Answers will be written on the board under heading “3”.
d. Teacher will play the track from 0:43 and stop at 0:59. Teacher will then ask students what Captain Jack is doing. Answers will be written on the board under heading “4”.
e. Teacher will play the track from 0:59 and stop at 1:29. Teacher will then ask students what Captain Jack is doing. Answers will be written on the board under heading “5”.
f. Teacher will play the track from 1:29 and stop at 2:01. Teacher will then ask students what Captain Jack is doing. Answers will be written on the board under heading “6”.
g. Teacher will play the track from 2:01 and stop at 2:25. Teacher will then ask students what Captain Jack is doing. Answers will be written on the board under heading “7”.
h. Teacher will play the track from 2:25 until the end of the piece (2:40). Teacher will then ask students what Captain Jack is doing. Answers will be written on the board under heading “8”.
11. Transition: “Great job, class! Now that we know what Captain Jack is up to in our story, we can add some pictures!”
12. Teacher will then give each student a specific “scene” to draw. “I’m going to give each of you a number. Remember your number because that’s what scene you will be drawing”. Teacher will count students off by 8. There will be approximately 3 pictures per scene, give or take. Each one will be individual to that specific student’s imagination and the way they perceive the story. “Let’s take a few minutes and draw our story. Then we’ll hang all of the pictures up on the board under the appropriate number.”
13. Teacher will then invite students up to the board a scene at a time to hang their pictures.
14. Teacher will then play the song one last time pointing to the section and the students’ pictures as it happens in the music.
15. Conclusion: “What a great story you came up with! And what beautiful pictures! You should be very proud of yourselves! Next class, we’ll do this again, but with a different type of music. I’ll give you a hint—the music is from a country with pyramids! Have a wonderful rest of your day!”
VIII. Assessment: Teacher will assess students as the lesson is progressing by asking questions to be sure that students are focused and on task. Teacher will have a watchful eye on the class at all times to give encouragement when needed and discipline when necessary.