Students will be able to write and interpret their own compositions through creative writing and dance as their compositions are performed by our new Technology Robots.
This lesson plan will be part of a unit that involves a school-wide Olympic celebration, patterned after the winter Olympics. This plan will involve composition writing, creative writing, dance and new technology robots who will actually play the music that the students have written while the students dance and creatively share their advertisements for the country that their classroom has chosen for focus.
Markers (1 for every group)
Xylophones (1 for every group)
Chart paper (a page for every group)
Writing paper for composition (notebook paper will do and at least one page for every group)
1. Students will be divided into groups of four and will be given the task of creating a four measure musical composition that includes half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes and at least one rest. While students will brainstorm what kinds of instruments would be the most interesting and appropriate for their composition to be played on, these compositions must be written so that they can be played on a xylophone because the robots will be playing the compositions.
2. When students have completed the compositions, they will work with them and share them with the teacher to make certain they will be successful with the robots.
3. When students have completed the compositions, they will need to work together to write an advertisement for the country that their class is representing. This advertisement can be written as a paragraph OR in stanza form, and should entice people to want to visit their country. This advertisement should be no more than 4 lines so that it can be read while the music is being played by the robot.
4. After students have completed the advertisement, have them work on a movement piece that can accompany the music that interprets the mood and expresses the attributes of their country.
5. When students have completed all 3 phases of the activities (i.e. musical composition, written advertisement and dance interpretation), have them rehearse all 3 together, with the robot playing the music and some of the 1 of the students reading the advertisement while the other 3 students are performing the dance piece.
6. Share each group’s creation with the rest of the group; have the audience members share two stars for each group (something that they did well) and a wish (something they could perhaps include). After each group performs, have them also share two stars and a wish for their own presentation.
For students who are English learners, there will be other students in each group who can help with the language and explanation of what to do. Since Music is a universal language, the difficulty may come with the Creative Writing (which I will encourage other students in the group to assist with). Students with other disabilities would also benefit from the same approach. For students who complete the work quickly and carelessly, hopefully the group interaction would encourage them to do their best. Students who finish quickly and successfully can just extend their musical piece, their writing piece, or their dance piece to help challenge them in their work.
Each group will receive two stars and a wish from each of the groups and they will compare that to their own assessment of their group. The teacher will use his/her own assessment of the group’s activities in combination with the peer assessment and the self assessment to determine the grade for each group.
Follow Up and Extension Ideas
This lesson is part of an Olympic unit and could be used with visual art as well. Instead of students creating a piece of music, students could work in a group and create a visual art collage that would depict one of countries represented in the Olympics. Students could also collaborate with a creative writing piece and a dance piece that would go with the art, using instrumental music from a CD for the background music.
- Grade Level: Fifth, Fourth
- Arts Content Area: Creative Writing, Dance, Music
- Non-Arts Content Area: English Language Arts, Social Studies