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Learning Musical Form through Creative Movement, Collaboration and Technology.

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Keywords: Collaboration, Interpretation, Creative Movement, Dance, Form, Flip Video, SmartBoard
Subject(s): Music
Grades 3 through 5
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
View Full Text of Standards
School: Worrall Elementary School, Broomall, PA
Planned By: Larysa Dragonetti
Original Author: Larysa Dragonetti, Broomall
Lesson 1 and Pre-Assessment:
1. Play simple music examples that use AB Form or Verse-Refrain Forms.
2. After each piece is played the students will indicate how many sections the
piece has. Students may use their fingers to show how many sections or parts
they think each piece has. (One section, hold up one finger; two sections hold
up two fingers) Other indicators may be used such as a card with the number
one drawn on one side and the number two drawn on the other.
Students have had experience with a variety of AB and Verse-Refrain songs prior to starting this lesson such as Old McDonald, Sarasponda, etc. Students also should have experienced a variety of AB and Verse-Refrain movement activities including free movement and organized dances before starting this lesson such as The Chicken Dance and It’s So Good To See You.

Lesson 2
1. In advance of this project, partner up the classes. For example: Mr. A’s Third Grade class partners with Mrs. B’s Third Grade Class. Miss C’s Third Grade Class works with Mrs. D’s Third Grade Class etc. The partnering can cross grades.
2. In each individual class teach the students a song in AB or verse-refrain form such as Movin’ Right Along.
3. In each class all students Sing Part A of the song while clapping their hands in tempo and Part B of the song while patting their laps.
4. Explain to the students that musicians call the parts of a piece of music the “Form” of the music. The word Form should be visible on the SmartBoard or ChalkBoard.
5. Explain to the students that musicians label each new section of music with a new letter. The form of a two-part piece is AB Form.
6. Explain that the first part of the song, when they clapped their hands, was the Verse or A Section of the Form. The second part when they patted was the Refrain or B Section.
7. Ask students to think of other familiar songs that have two parts. Students’ responses will vary depending on the repertoire taught before this lesson as well as individual exposure to music. The students suggest the song, sing the song and identify the two sections and explain how the sections differ.

Lesson 3
8. The students work in small groups to create movement for one assigned section (either A or B will be assigned) of the new song Moovin’ Right Along.
9. Each group will perform their newly created dance for the class.
10. Each class will vote on the best movement creation or create a new one synthesized with ideas from the small group creations.
11. The movement creation of each class will be flip video-taped and shared with the Partner Class. Each class will be responsible to learn their partner’s dance. For example: Mr. A’s Third Grade class will create movement or a dance to the A section. Their partner, Mrs. B’s Third Grade Class, will create the movement or the dance to the B section.
12. Once both sections are mastered, each class will video tape their full dance along with a message and an explanation of Form to be viewed by their partner class.
13.This project may be applied to a more challenging song such as “Seventy Six Trombone” from The Music Man.

This lesson requires a flip video and smartboard and projector.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This lesson can be used in Language Arts where the form of poetry is studied. The collaborative aspect, working with another class via flip video can be easily applied to many subject area.
Materials: Whiteboards, Flip Video