It got me wondering if my students could do a project researching and sharing the oldest examples of their home culture’s music?
I did a quick online search, and there certainly are many examples. At the bottom of this post, I’ve embedded videos of ancient Mesoamerican and Arab music.
So, I’m thinking of asking students to research their culture’s music, make a short report on the instruments used and the role of music in their ancient culture, explain what it sounds like to them and what they visualize when they hear it, and then play it for the class.
What do you think? Do you have ideas on how I can make the lesson a better one for both learning about history and for language development?
It’s from PBS, and is a great one for IB Theory of Knowledge teachers when exploring the arts.
Even more interesting – to me, at least – is how it can applied to an understanding of “close reading.” I suspect David Coleman, the primary author of the Common Core Standards, would not necessarily agree with what the video says about the critical importance of context…
This song was generated using refugee data from the United Nations from 1975 to 2012. The quantity, length, and pitch of the song’s instruments are controlled by the volume of refugee movement and distance traveled between their countries of origin and asylum.
I have periodically shared links to lessons on using art as a language-learning activity, and have published some of my own. I thought it would be useful to start compiling them here, and to invite readers to contribute what I hope are a whole lot more.
I’m excluding music lessons from this list since I have several separate ones for them:
From my NY Times posts for ELLs: Students separate run-on sentences in this interactive about International Dance Day, and use it as a model for creating their own. In addition, they can view a variety of dance videos and write a compare/contrast essay.
Here’s a two-week-long music-related lesson that, thanks to my extraordinary colleague, Alma Avalos, was a very successful one that took about a week. It includes all the domains — listening, reading, writing and speaking.
First, students were introduced to the Black-Eyed Peas song, “Where is the love?” (lyrics video embedded below). The song is sung fairly fast but, just like the saying goes that the best book for a student is not one on their lexile level but, instead, one they want to read, the same hold true for a introducing a popular song.
Students also practiced reading the lyrics out loud. Once comprehension was solid, it was time for Step Two.
Second, they began completing this Where Is The Love? worksheet. It includes a number of questions and tasks, including picking ten of their favorite lines, translating them into their language, and explaining why they chose the lyrics and what feelings they generated.
All of the previous tasks made up the first section of the unit lesson. Now it was time for students to apply what they learned to higher-order and more complex tasks.
First, students were asked to choose their favorite song that had classroom appropriate lyrics, and then to complete this form, which included choosing their favorite ten lines.
Secondly, they went back to Canva and created a similar slideshow to their first one — this time, though, using the lines from their song. You can see student examples here (the first one or two links might be for the Where is the Love? song, but the rest are for their favorite songs).
Thirdly, students presented their Canva slideshow, explained in what the lyrics meant, and showed a video of their song.
Students really enjoyed the unit and, as you can see, it was filled with high-interest language-development activities.