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Yo, away, ho, singing sea shanty poems is the way to go – to introduce Melville’s Moby Dick
Language Arts, Music, Social Studies
Title – Sea Shanties
By – K. Schmidt
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subject – Music, Social Studies Grade Level – 11
Intro from LessonPlansPage.com:
- Most sea shanties are call and response songs; a cross between a Marine drill chant and a yo-ho-ho pirate ditty. The Shanty Man sings the first verse and the sailors respond while pulling a sail rope in unison.
Call: Boney was a warrior,
Response: Away hey-yah,
Call: A warrior and a tarrier,
Response: Jean Francois.
” I soon got used to this singing, for the sailors never touched a rope without it. “- Herman Melville, Moby Dick .
Concept / Topic To Teach:
- The poetry of the sea shanty, as an introduction to Moby Dick
- 1.03 Demonstrate the ability to read, listen to and view a variety of increasingly complex print and non-print expressive texts appropriate to grade level and course literary focus, by:
- identifying and analyzing personal, social, historical or cultural influences, contexts, or biases.
- locating facts and details for purposeful elaboration.
- connecting themes that occur across genres or works from different time periods.
- using specific references to validate connections.
2.01 Research and analyze ideas, events, and/or movements related to United States culture by
4.02 Develop thematic connections among works by:
- To understand the purposes sea shanties served
- To write an original sea shanty
- To identify the call and response portions of sea shanties
- To write and perform an original sea shanty
Anticipatory Set (Lead-In):
- Introduction to sea shanties, whaling, and Moby Dick (LPP:
Wikipedia is a good starting source
- Spend time researching whaling, the whaling business, and life on whaling ships.
- Go to sea shanty web sites (LPP: teacher goggles “sea shanty” and selects approved sites, since some can get “salty” ) and listen to some old sea shanties.
- With group of no more than three, write a sea shanty of no less than fourteen lines, complete with call and response.
- Sea shanty shall be typed and handed in.
- For extra credit, sea shanty may be performed.
Plan For Independent Practice:
- Students may search the internet and find other sites than those given by teacher
Closure (Reflect Anticipatory Set):
- Students will hand in, and they will be able to read or listen to each others.
Assessment Based On Objectives:
- Objectives will be met if shanty is fourteen lines long, reflects the shanty of the whalers of America, and includes call and response.
Adaptations (For Students With Learning Disabilities):
- Shanty can be shorter.
- Students can be paired with students who are learning disabled.
Extensions (For Gifted Students):
- These students could have their shanty reflect an actual, historic ship wreck.
Possible Connections To Other Subjects:
E-Mail K. Schmidt !