This is a series of lessons on Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns, and is the culmination of a science unit on animals. During the animal unit, students learned about the different ways animals move. As an extension to the concept of how animals move, they were introduced to the book that accompanies the music of Carnival of the Animals. Each day we read and listened to one selection from the book and CD. We discussed various musical elements such as dynamics, tempo, and orchestration.
The students will describe the life of Duke Ellington and his contributions to the field of jazz. The students will create "nick names" similar to jazz performers of the 1920's by using adjectives that describe themselves. The students will create an original poem using a variety of popular vocabulary from the 1920s as well as adjectives that describe a mood they feel from listening to the musical selection. The students will create an illustration to decorate an adjective word wall in the room.
Students will be able to identify Olivier Messiaen's Oiseaux exotiques. Students will acquire some knowledge about the composer and how he replicated real bird calls musically in this composition. Students will be able to create a drawing of their own exotic bird and describe it in great detail so that another student will be able to recreate the drawing. Students will learn the importance of accurate description in writing and following directions in drawing.
Students will improve vocabulary and writing skills by writing a sensory/descriptive story utilizing elements of both art and music as their inspiration. Students will pay close attention to the six traits of writing - editing our first drafts and making improvements in ideas and content, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency and conventions. Students will demonstrate an understanding of general musical terminology.
Students will learn the dynamic levels in musical terms and learn about adjectives in Language Arts, specifically adjectives that describe what kind. Students will listen to Haydn's Symphony No. 94 in G Major, often referred to as the Surprise Symphony. Students will gather instruments found around the classroom, and sample quiet and noisy foods.
Students will be able to name and describe the following tempo markings: adagio, andante, moderato, allegro, and presto. They will be able to move kinesthetically at each named tempo, and be able to identify the tempo of a piece of music they hear by moving to the rhythm.
Students will listen to Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, discuss what spring time means, and create a list of adjectives for the music. Then, they will watch the part of the Disney film Fantasia that re-interprets the same music. Students will add to their list of adjectives, retell the film's story, and compare the original music to the film's story. After listening again, and moving to the music, they will write and draw a response.
This cooperative improvisation between fifth and second grade students can be planned and performed in less than one hour, but preparation for the event should include several previous experiences including viewing the famous painting, Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze, hearing the historical details from a variety of sources, engaging in student discussions of the events surround the planning and the Battle of Trenton and identifying targeted musical concepts.
Students will have a better understanding of how musical terms, dynamics and tempo, can apply to other disciplines. Students will use musical vocabulary to help determine how to read poems with greater voice and expression.
Tone is a difficult concept for students to grasp in Language Arts because it is hardly ever specifically stated in the text. Students have a much easier time uncovering emotions in classical music even though it also is never specifically stated. By studying classical music and its use of dynamics and using words that show tone in correlation with dynamics, students will be able to gain a better grasp of the idea of tone in literature. Students will have a working understanding of musical vocabulary that describes the dynamics of a piece of music and how that relates to the overall tone.
While reading and performing Shakespeare's Hamlet, students will learn about the relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia. Students will explore the idea of love further through music, specifically Richard Wagner's three-act opera, Tristan und Isolde. Students will compare and contrast the different types of love expressed (in both the opera and the play) as well as compare and contrast the way love is communicated through music and dramatic performance.