On the Move to Freedom

Krista Little, Joan Certa-Moore

For students to develop a basic understanding of the power of code communication through a ballad and movement. Students will create and perform an original ballad (code song) and movement study which will demonstrate their understanding of these communication tools. Additionally, students will become aware that communication can take place in variety of art forms.


Book – Follow the Drinking Gourd
Code Song WS


Students will:
1. Listen to the book Follow the Drinking Gourd by: Jeanette Winter or Discovery Ed video “Follow the Drinking Gourd”
2. Refer to 5th grade Spotlight on Music textbook and refer to lyrics of the song and have a discussion on the codes in each verse
3. Listen to the song
4. Be invited to sing the song when comfortable
a. Understand that they are PRETEND slaves here at Brooks Elementary. Mrs. Locklear (the principal) is their owner and they are trying to escape to a safe room of their choice! Each location needs to have a stanza/verse/paragraph and there needs to be a repeating chorus. Also, students are not allowed to use instruments because we want to keep it historically accurate – as slaves did not own instruments.
b. Form groups
c. Collect papers and pencils
d. Understand that there is a grading rubric on the back and, “you’re almost a 6th grader…and that’s why I’m going to put YOU in charge of earning your grade.”
e. Students will receive specific directions of the process and will observe modeling of the process by the teacher.
f. Fill out the chart on the front of their worksheets
g. Start writing their code songs
h. Rehearse/Revise/Practice code songs
i. Perform their code songs

Differentiation Approaches

1. Due to the fact that this lesson/unit will be during 4th quarter and students are familiar with my procedures and expectations, based on my belief and experience in teaching music, every child is musical and will be successful.
2. English Language Learners – Our ESL teacher will receive a copy of the book, worksheet and CD of the code songs to front-load our ESL students.



Follow Up and Extension Ideas

Students will have an informance in the hallway for an invited audience. The performance will be videotaped, students will watch and self evaluate.

Additional Details

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