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Recognizing Patterns in Music and Children’s Literature
Art, Language Arts, Music
K, 1, 2
Students will learn and explore about patterns in music giving them an opportunity to practice echoing simple song phrases.
Whiteboard or chalkboard
Recognizing Patterns in Music and Children’s Literature Lesson Plan Pictures and Worksheet Handout (http://www.kenbakerbooks.com/lessonplanmusicpatternshandouts.pdf)
The children’s picture book- OLD MACDONALD HAD A DRAGON by Ken Baker and illustrated by Christopher Santoro (ISBN 0761461752)
Guitar or other musical instrument (optional)
Recognizing Patterns in Music and Children’s Literature Lesson Plan Time Required: 30-50 minutes
Cut out the pictures and word phrases from the recognizing Patterns in Music and Children’s Literature Lesson Plan Handout.
Explain to the class what a pattern is. (For example, a pattern is something that repeats itself, or happens over and over). Tell them a pattern can be something they see with their eyes. (As an example, draw a pattern of repeating shapes of colors on the board; square-triangle, square-triangle or green-yellow-red, green-yellow-red.
Explain that a pattern can also be something you hear with your ears and that many songs have patterns made up of repeating words or phrases, and repeating tunes.
Patterns in Old MacDonald had a Farm:
Ask the class to raise their hand if they’ve heard the song old MacDonald had a Farm. Tell them Old MacDonald had a Farm is a song with patterns. It has repeating words with melodic phrases. Ask them to listen for the repeating patterns as you sing the song together.
Lead the students in singing the song Old MacDonald had a Farm while introducing the animals in the following order: cow, pig, sheep, and dog (this is how they appear in the song Old MacDonald had a Dragon). You can hold up or point to a picture of the animal from the handout to indicate which animal you will be singing about in each verse.
After singing the song, ask the students what patterns they noticed. Answers may include “EIEIO”, “Old MacDonald had a Farm”, “On that farm he had a”, or the different animal noises. As the children share their answers, write them on the board or put the Lesson Plan Handout on the board.
Patterns in the picture book Old MacDonald had a Dragon:
Tell the class that you’re going to read them a book about Old MacDonald and his farm. Explain to them that in this story, some of the patterns from the song get interrupted or broken. Ask the children to listen for the patterns and the way the patterns are changed or broken as you read the story. Then read aloud to the children the picture book, “Old MacDonald had a Dragon”. If desired, while reading the book, you can sing the song/musical portions of the story.
After you read the story, ask the class who or what broke the different patterns (the dragon interrupts the patterns). Ask the children to explain what patterns were broken or where. If needed, re-read the book or portions of it to show where the pattern breaks occur.
Determine Students Ability to Identify Musical Phrases and Recognize Patterns:
Tell the students you are going to sing together old MacDonald had a farm again. Explain to them that as you sing it, this time you want them to count how many times a given pattern is repeated. Then lead the students in singing the song, but this time add a verse with the dragon. The animals should be introduced in the following order: cow, pig, sheep, dog, and dragon.
Once again, hold up or point to a picture of the animal from the handout to indicate which animal you will be singing about in each verse. In the dragon verse, you can have the dragon say “Roarrr!” For fun, you might choose to sing the dragon verse having it say “Burp!” instead.
When you’re done singing, ask the class how many times the specified pattern was repeated. If desired, sing the verses again to have students count other patterns that are repeated in the song.
Assessment- Identifying and Comparing Patterns and Phrases within a Story:
This portion of the lesson plan can be used to introduce the concept of comparing and contrasting patterns. Explain to the students that in addition to repeating patterns in the song, the story Old MacDonald had a Dragon also has repeating patterns and phrases. These repeating patterns are very similar to each other (compare) but also have slight differences (contrast). (HINT: these compare and contrast phrases occur each time right before the dragon appears and each time the dragon starts to leave.)
Explain to the students that as you re-read the book, they should listen for those repeating phrases. Tell them that whenever you start to say a certain repeating phrase, they should say it aloud with you. But also have them pay attention to the slight differences between each repeating phrase.
As an additional option, if you have enough copies of the book for the students to share, they can read silently along as you read, but when you come to a repeating phrase they can read it aloud. And when they come to the slight differences, you can instruct them to read those words even louder to help them recognize the differences.