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“Look, Listen & Learn” is a composers and history lesson that can be taught without saying a word!


Music, Social Studies  


3, 4, 5, 6, 7  


Title – Look, Listen, and Learn
By – Susie
Primary Subject – Music
Secondary Subjects – Social Studies
Grade Level – 3rd- 7th
OBJECTIVE: To introduce students to great music without saying a word. (This works great for those times when you have lost your voice.)

— Recording of selected music and means to play it (I used Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony).
— Illustrations of historic connections to the composer or the music.
— Large pictures of the composer (I found several pictures on the internet, including a picture of Beethoven’s death mask and printed them out).
— Small posters with facts about either the composer or the music to which the students can relate–NO MORE THAN A SHORT SENTENCE ON EACH POSTER. (I use Word Art on Microsoft Word to design my posters and print them out on card stock.) Posters with brief definitions of new related words, such as “symphony,” “prodigy,” or “classical” are also useful. It is helpful to have a thought provoking question on one of the posters, such as “How do think Beethoven felt about being deaf?” The idea is to get the students to think about the composer as a real person to whom they can relate.

I have posted on my door a sign that says “Enter QUIETLY, Listening.” I make a real effort to NOT say anything. This puts the students in a curious state of mind–a great place for a student to be.
As the students enter I have the selected music already playing.
After all students are seated, I hold up the first picture or fact poster, making sure all the students have a chance to read it, then I post it on the black board. I wait a minute or two before showing the next poster. You can spread the facts out to last the length of the music selection.

EVALUATION: A worksheet or quiz can be made from the information on the posters. Or the students can write a story about the composer from the facts they recall.

Challenge the students to use the historic facts in another class.
If the facts are presented chronologically, later students can try to put them in the correct order to create a time line.
Information from the posters can be used later in a jeopardy style game, especially if you use several composers over several music lessons.
Have one poster about an artist (with an art illustration) of the same time period to make an art connection.
Let the students come up with the next lesson. Let them choose the composer and music. Challenge them to find interesting facts and illustrations. This could be an internet research project. They could work in teams and present the lesson. As a starting point, the teacher could provide a list of available recordings from which to choose.
You can also point to instrument posters to show instruments as they are featured throughout the piece.

E-Mail Susie !

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