Unit 4: Lesson 6
Instruct on Graphic Notation; Create, Present, & Reflect on Themes for Ana; TRAIL Marker #1
By the end of this lesson students will be able to draw upon chapter reflections to create a musical theme that represents the main character.
LITERACY "I CAN" STATEMENT
"I can use my chapter notes and reflection to create a musical theme that represents the main character."
*This lesson needs to be broken up into Parts A and B to maintain student focus.
Reading Standards (Literature)
RL 3.1: Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
RL 3.2: Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
RL 3.3: Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.
RL 4.1: Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
RL 4.2: Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
RL 4.3: Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).
RL 5.2: Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.
RL 5.7: Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).
Writing & Language
W 4.9a: Apply grade 4 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions].”).
W 5.9a: Apply grade 5 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or a drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g., how characters interact]”).
Speaking & Listening
SL 3.1a: Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
SL 3.1b: Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
SL 3.1c: Ask questions to check understanding of information presented, stay on topic, and link their comments to the remarks of others.
SL 3.1d: Explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.
SL 3.2: Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
SL 3.3: Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.
SL 3.6: Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.
SL 4.1a: Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
SL 4.1b: Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.
SL 4.1c: Pose and respond to specific questions to clarify or follow up on information, and make comments that contribute to the discussion and link to the remarks of others.
SL 4.1d: Review the key ideas expressed and explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.
SL 4.2: Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
SL 4.3: Identify the reasons and evidence a speaker provides to support particular points.
SL 4.6: Differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion); use formal English when appropriate to task and situation.
SL 5.1a: Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
SL 5.1b: Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.
SL 5.1c: Pose and respond to specific questions by making comments that contribute to the discussion and elaborate on the remarks of others.
SL 5.1d: Review the key ideas expressed and draw conclusions in light of information and knowledge gained from the discussions.
SL 5.2: Summarize a written text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
SL 5.3: Summarize the points a speaker makes and explain how each claim is supported by reasons and evidence.
SL 5.6: Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate to task and situation.
Reading Standards (Literature)
RL 5.1: Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
RL 5.3: Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).
Writing & Language
W 3.4: With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose.
W 3.10: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
W 4.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
W 4.10: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
W 5.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
W 5.10: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
L 3.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
L 3.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
L 4.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
L 4.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
L 5.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
L 5.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Unit 4 includes the following Life & Learning Skills:
-Critical and analytic thinking
Differentiation Options will appear throughout the unit to suggest ways to scaffold or challenge student learning. Use the number of helping hands to select the level of differentiation that best supports student learning.
Highest level of scaffolding. Select this option if students are learning strategies for the first time, if the text is challenging for them, or if students require more guidance during activities. The Unit is written for the highest level of scaffolding.
Moderate scaffolding. Select this option if students require some support comprehending the text or navigating the activity.
Least amount of scaffolding/Extending the instruction. Select this option if students are ready to work more independently, move more quickly through the material, or are ready for additional challenge.
Key instructional steps where the arts are used to leverage literacy-learning (and vice versa) are marked with . Smaller leveraging moments also occur throughout the lessons.
Lesson 6: PART A
Process: Give an overview of the lesson objectives: Ensembles review what they learned about Ana; create, share, and reflect on musical themes.
Differentiation Option: Visual Arts And Writing
In the visual arts alterative, the introduction of Graphic Notation will also be replaced with gesture drawings and written reflections on each character in the TRAIL Marker #1 (Located in Lesson 6, Step 7
Process for Using Visual Arts as the Art Form
- Using quick gesture drawings and symbolic lines and shapes, students will first do a series of quick linear gesture drawings in the Seedfolks Character Chart for Ana to illustrate her character traits. This activity is in response to the student’s annotations on Ana in the text and can replace “What sounds can you use to represent Ana’s feelings and transformation?”(pg. 5 on the Seedfolks Character Chart in the A4L Student Notebook).
- The gesture drawings should be very quick sketches in response to their reading and reflecting upon each annotated section of the chapter as currently distinguished at reflection points where students are instructed to pause and make written annotations to the text.
- At the end of the chapter on Ana (and in each subsequent chapter and introduction of a new character), the students are asked to summarize their inferences in writing in the Reflection Chart in the Student Notebook. This activity requires that students synthesize their annotations and inferences and explain verbally describe the character traits for that character. It will also require them to visualize, synthesize and illustrate those characteristics with a visual gesture drawing.
- Students will begin to explore, contrast and combine gestures with the inclusion of more than one character. (Example above is by Leonardo DaVinci)
- The Notation Chart will not be used and in the section on the Composer’s Questions – Ana Theme (pg. 11 or the A4L Student Notebook), students will substitute drawing for music. E.g. instead of “What characteristic, emotion, and/or change are we showing through music?” the student will describe that change through their visual images. The other questions are not applicable to a visual arts activity. Students instead will contrast their visual gestures for Kim and Ana and describe those differences in writing.
- This process of having each written reflection include a gestural sketch to symbolically represent the character will replace the creation of a musical theme for that character created with the sounds of found objects.
- At the conclusion of each chapter, students will share their drawings and explain their inferences by pair sharing. Some students will also voluntarily share their gesture drawing and explain their symbolic sketch to the class.
Each theme will have the following criteria:
1. A clear beginning and end.
2. One or more music elements that change (dynamics, duration, pitch, and/or timbre).
3. All students must play an instrument.
4. Layering or overlapping sound, when more than one instrument is playing.
5. A change in layering. Examples might be: transitioning from a solo (one) instrument to two or more instruments; changing which combination of instruments are playing together.
"Today we're going to review what we've learned about Ana and then work in ensembles to compose themes with classroom instruments and found objects."
"By the end of today's lesson, you will be able to say, 'I can use my chapter notes and reflection to create a musical theme that represents the main character'."
Guide students to sit in Seedfolks Ensembles with their A4L Texts, A4L Notebooks, and a pen or pencil. Tell students to wait for the "Go" signal before moving. Guide ensembles to review their Seedfolks Character Chart for "Ana"
and their reflections on the Reflection Journal
. Have students get out their A4L Notebooks (pages 4-5, 9) and their A4L Texts (page 5
Theme Compositional Process
1. Review Character:
Review your Seedfolks Character Chart and Reflection Journal. Think about what you have learned and what you would like to represent in the character's theme.
2. Brainstorm Ideas into Sound:
Review your "Sounds" column on your Seedfolks Character Chart. Talk with your ensemble about how you might translate these ideas into sound. Think about which instruments have the music elements you think will best represent the character. As a group, select four or five instruments from the music stations.
3. Compose Theme:
As you compose your theme, consider these "Composer's Questions:"
-How will we begin and end the theme?
-Will we start and end with the same instrument; start with one instrument and end with another; or end with all our instruments?
-Which instruments will overlap?
-Which music elements (dynamics, duration, pitch, timbre) will change?
-Should we use counting off to help us organize our sounds?
-Have we fulfilled all the criteria for a theme?
"When I play the 'Go' signal, take your A4L Texts, A4L Notebooks, and a pen or pencil and move to sit with your Seedfolks Ensembles." (Play "Go" signal.)
"Open your A4L Notebooks to page 4 and open your A4L Texts to page 5. We'll use the Seedfolks Character Chart and the Reflection Journal to review what we've learned about Ana and to help us create a musical theme for Ana. Spend a few minutes talking together with your ensemble about Ana. What happened in Ana's chapter? What kind of person is Ana?" (Ensembles review and discuss Ana.)
Process: Transition to music and make a connection to creating a character's theme.
Reflecting and Transition
"Now that we've reflected on what we've learned about Ana, we're going to compose character themes using found objects and classroom instruments."
Guide students to create a character theme for Ana. Refer to the Composer's Questions
and Theme Criteria Charts
to guide students in the creation of a theme. Highlight the range of options when composing a piece of music. The creative process requires students to experiment with instruments, dialogue, and revision. This may sound and look disorderly, but is an indication that students are engaged in the learning.
Timing to compose themes is 25 minutes.
Coaching Tips for the Arts: Creating a Theme
When students are composing themes for their characters, keep in mind that this is an open-ended process without "correct" answers. Avoid making statements that reflect personal judgment of approval or disapproval. Take the role of guide--not arbiter of taste. Focus on the criteria.
Ask coaching questions and statements like:
-What characteristic or emotion are you interpreting? Show me that in your body. How do you feel when you are like that? What instrument sounds like that to you?
-How might you vary the sound of this instrument? Look at the Elements of Music Chart. Can you vary dynamics, duration, pitch, or timbre?
-Did the character experience a change in feeling or attitude? What combination of instruments, or change of musical elements, might illustrate this?
-Does your theme sound the same each time your ensemble plays it? What can you do to: - Start together? - End together? - Know when to bring in the next instrument? - Know when to create the changes in dynamics, pitch, duration and timbre that you have planned?
-Use counting (1, 2, 3, 4) to help you know when to start and stop playing. For instance, the drum might start on "1," and the sticks come in on "3."
-Practice many times, so you can produce your sequence successfully each time you play it.
Discussing the Theme Compositional Process
"Now you'll have an opportunity to work with your Seedfolks Ensemble to create a musical theme that represents what you've learned about Ana. Read More...
You have already written notes in your Seedfolks Character Chart about Ana, and we have brainstormed the sounds one might use to represent Ana's feelings and transformation. Now it's time to build on your understanding to create a whole picture of this character. You will work with the same theme criteria that you used for Kim's theme. I'll walk you through the steps to create a character theme for Ana.
Theme Compositional Process:
1) Review your Seedfolks Character Chart and your Reflection Journal. What would you like to represent in this character's theme? (Ensembles discuss what to represent in their theme.)
2) Talk with your ensemble about how you might translate these ideas into sound. Think about which instruments have the music elements you think will best represent the character. (Students discuss ideas.) As a group, select four or five instruments from the music stations. (Guide ensembles to select instruments from the music stations and return to seats.)
3) As you compose your theme, consider the Composer's Questions. (Refer to Composer's Questions posted in room and Student Notebook, page 11.)
- What characteristics, emotions, and/or changes do we want to represent about Ana in her theme?
- How will we begin and end the theme? Will we start and end with the same instrument; start with one and end with another; or end with all our instruments?
- Which instruments will overlap? How will the combinations of instruments that we use change over time?
- Which music elements (dynamics, duration, pitch, timbre) will change?
- Should we use counting off to help us organize our sounds?
Look at the Theme Criteria Chart (Resources, page 22) to help you remember what to include in the theme. Experiment with the selected instruments, and continue to refine your choices of what instruments you will use and how they are to be played.
You now have 15 minutes to create your themes. Feel free to revise your choices as you experiment and discover. Be sure to practice several times, so you can play the theme the same way each time. I'll give you a heads-up when you have five minutes left. (Ensembles compose and practice themes. When five minutes are left, check-in.)
You have five minutes left. As you make your final choices, do a "self-reflection" and make sure your theme contains each of the five theme criteria." (Play "Go" signal.)
Introduce students to graphic notation, or using graphics to write down musical ideas. Differentiate between standard notion and graphic notation. Show an example of Standard Notation
and a real musician using graphic notation - Penderecki Graphic Notation
. Show examples of graphic notation for dynamics, duration, and pitch and invite students to create their own. See Getting Started with Graphic Notation
for the examples. Then, show a theme documented both in written form and using graphics. See Sample Written Notation
and Sample Graphic Notation
. Play the "Recording for Notation Samples," A4L Music Track 18, so students can listen to the music while they 'read' the graphic notation.
Time for this step: 20-25 minutes
Resource Documents for Step 5
To prepare for this step, use these resource documents:
Connecting Literacy & Art: Benefits of Written & Graphic Notation
-Levels the playing field. All students, even those with no prior music experience, can write and read their music and thus know when and how to play their instruments. Graphic notation enables students to easily "read" their musical score during performances. Students will feel like "real musicians."
-Supports the revision and rehearsal processes. Graphic notation provides an artifact that both students and teachers can refer to. This supports all students, but especially ELLs.
-Helps ensembles move more swiftly through rehearsal. They do not need to spend time trying to remember what they composed.
Step Alternatives: Options for Using Notation
-Follow the Unit: Instruct on Written Notation (Lesson 4) and Graphic Notation (Lesson 6) Written notation is instructed in Lesson 4 to ease students into 'scoring' their music. Graphic notation is instructed in Lesson 6 and then utilized for all subsequent themes.
-Instruct on Written Notation only
Students can continue to record their themes using words, as instructed in Lesson 4. This will help ensembles remember what they created and aid in the revision and reflection process.
-Forgo Written and Graphic Notation
If you decide not to instruct on written or graphic notation, be sure to audio or video record themes so that students can remember what they created.
-Optional Video or Audio Recording
In addition to using notation, you may wish to video or audio record each ensemble's character theme. For the final performance, ensembles may want to listen to a recording of what was previously created.
Introducing the Standard Notation
"When you composed your theme for Kim, you wrote notes on the Notation Chart to help you remember the choices you made. We are going to talk about another way to write down, or notate, musical ideas."
Differentiate between standard notation and graphic notation.
"One form of music notation is called "Standard Notation." Here is an example. (Show Standard Notation Sample.) We read from left to right. All these dots and lines are standardized symbols that musicians can read and know how to play the music. Who has seen this before? Where?" (Students may respond "violin lessons," "music teacher in school.")
"There is another kind of notation that is called "graphic notation." It's used in a lot of contemporary music if standard notation can't represent the desired sound. It can use some of the symbols used in standard notation, but it doesn't have to. It's not "standardized," meaning the composer creates graphics that fit the needs of the piece they are composing. And often, they need to include a legend or key to let the musicians know what the graphics mean. Here is an example. (Show Penderecki Graphic Notation.). It's from a piece by Krzysztof Penderecki (KREE-stoff pen-der-ETZ-key). He is a Polish conductor and composer who has won several Grammy Awards. Anyone, musician or not, would need a key to understand this. Yet we could take some guesses. What do you see? (Students respond: Lots of arrows. It's colorful.) I wonder if the colors represent different tone colors or timbre. Which symbols do you think might be louder or softer? (Response: thicker lines are louder, thinner lines are softer.) So what might the lines mean that change in thickness? (Response: music gets louder or softer.) We call that a change in dynamics."
"Now, let's look at other graphic notation and make up some of our own."
Instructing on Graphic Notation to Show Dynamics
"Can someone tap a drum 5 times, starting quietly and getting louder and louder each time?" (Choose a student to play the drum.)
"We might record it like this, with vertical lines getting taller. (Show Figure 1a from Getting Started with Graphic Notation.) Here is another possibility, where the lines stay the same height but get thicker (Show Figure 1b.)."
"Does anyone have another idea for how to write this?" (Invite 1-2 students to write notations on the board or paper. For example, a student might draw circles that get bigger and bigger.)
"Think back to the Penderecki example, with thinner and thicker lines. Now look at this next graphic. (Show Figure 2.) What if you were shaking a shaker and saw this? What do you think it might mean?" (Students respond "Shake softly, get louder, and then softer again.")
"How else might someone write this?" (Invite 1-2 students to write notations on the board or paper. For example, a student might draw a bell curve.)
"I can also use brackets like this (Show Figure 3.) The pointed end is less sound; the open side represents more sound. Have you seen signs like this in math?" (Students respond "Less than and greater than signs.")
"We can use all of these signs and notations to show something getting louder or softer."
Instructing on Graphic Notation to Show Duration
"How can we show duration using graphic notation?"
"Let's review, what is duration? (Students respond "How long a sound lasts over time.") Could someone with a bell or chime play three short taps, then final sound with a long duration?" (Choose a student to play the chimes.)
"When we write it in graphic notation, it's like we are measuring the time with a ruler. The longer the sound, the longer the mark we draw. It might look like this. (Show Figure 4.) What is another way to write it?" (Invite 1-2 students to write notations on the board or paper. For example, a student might draw lines with arrows, or thinner and thicker horizontal lines.)
Instructing on Graphic Notation to Show Pitch
"Let's think about pitch. How do we describe differences in pitch? (Students respond "higher or lower.") If you are familiar with standard music notation, you will have seen dots or notes that appear higher or lower on a five-lined staff. The higher the dot, the higher the note. Let's look at Figure 5 for a possibility in graphic notation. (Show Figure 5.) Here are two lower lines, two higher lines, two lower again, and one high. Does someone have an instrument (or two instruments) that can demonstrate these changes in pitches? (Select a student to play.) How else could this been written?" (Invite 1-2 students to write notations on the board or paper. For example, a student might use circles written lower and higher instead of lines.)
Model Using Graphic Notation for a Musical Theme
"To review, graphic notation is a way to create symbols that visually represent the sounds or music we are creating. We use it to help us remember what we create, and to share our ideas with others."
"To represent our themes, we need to show both what each individual instrument is playing, and how that instrument sounds with other instruments. Let's go back to the notation we saw back in Lesson 4. Here is what it looks like. (Show Sample WRITTEN Notation, page 14.) Now, here is the same piece of music, written in graphic notation. (Show Sample GRAPHIC Notation) Remember, left to right shows passage of time, like a timeline. Anything that happens vertically happens at the same time. Watch closely, because we are going to be reading and playing this notation--or "score"--in just a minute!"
Walk Students through Reading the Sample Graphic Notation Chart
"Here you see the drum. The notation shows four lines. Underneath, it says, "do twice." So how many times altogether do they play? (Students respond "Eight.") They do the same thing for the next three squares. What about the metal cans? (Students respond "Play four times, then repeat. The first two are low and the second are higher.") When do the bells come in? (Students respond "Third square.") How many times do they play? (Students respond "Two x two = four times.") How do you think they play with the drums (Students respond "Every other beat/every other time.") How can you tell? (Students respond "The lines for the bell line up with the first and third lines for the cans and drums.") What do you think the shakers do? (Students respond "Get louder and softer.") And finally, here is the bell by itself, at the end. Let's listen to the recording, and read along with the graphic notation." ( Listen to the "Recording for Notation Samples," Track 18 and follow along with the graphic notation. )
"Now let's read the notation and play this with our own instruments. If you have an instrument that can play two pitches, raise your hands. (Students raise hands.) You will play the line for the metal cans. (Points to metal cans row on chart.) Raise your hand if you have a shaker. (Students raise hands.) You will read this line, for the shakers. (Point to shakers row on chart.) Who has bells or chimes that have a long duration of sound. (Students raise hands.) You will read the line for the bells. Anyone who has a drum or a scraper, raise your hands. (Students raise hands.) You will have the drum part here; scrapers, please tap, instead of scrape, your instrument. (Point to drum row on chart.) Is there anyone else who doesn't have a part to play? (Decide where "additional" instruments will play.) Musicians ready? Remember that you play each square twice, except for the last square. The exception is the shakers, who get louder and then softer once throughout the total of 8 counts. All right, I'll count to four, and then we'll start. Ready? 1 - 2 - 3 - 4. (Play the example together. If it's rough the first time, do it again.) Great."
Process: Guide ensembles to work together to record their composition choices for Ana on their own Notation Charts. By recording their compositional choices, students remember what they've created in relationship to what they've learned about the character.
First display the Sample Graphic Notation Chart
on the document camera. Direct students to their own Notation Chart - Ana on page 10
in their A4L Notebook, and walk them through the process of recording their own musical theme with graphic notation.
Time for this step is 20 minutes.
Developing your own Graphic Notation Chart
"Now it's time to develop your own graphic notation for your ensemble's musical theme for Ana. First of all, open your A4L Notebook to page 10. Here is a blank Notation Chart. Let's all write "Ana" at the top next to "Theme." (Write "Ana.") Here again are four rows on the chart, with a small rectangle in each row. The first instrument to play is on the top row. Talk with each other about which instrument plays first in your Ana theme, and write it down. (Students write.) The remaining instruments will each get their own row."
"Every student needs to create graphic notation for all instruments playing in your theme, so work together as you fill this in. You can use notation similar to what we've just looked at, work together to make symbols, or make up your own. Help each other remember how your theme is played. Remember that the symbols you create need to show when instruments start and stop, and how they play in relationship to the other instruments in the theme. Do they play before, at the same time, or after another instrument? The notation also needs to show musical elements, such as dynamics or pitch, and how theme elements change."
"I suggest you first write your notation in pencil. That way, you can erase and revise. And you are probably going to erase several times, because this is a new thing for you to do and you are experimenting. Expect that it might be puzzling at first; it will get easier over time. Feel free to get ideas from each other; artists do that all the time. If you like, when you have laid out your notation, go over it with colored pencil or markers. Use one color per instrument. That will make it easier to read."
"You have 15 minutes to write down your notation. I'll check in after that time to see if you need more time."
TRAIL Marker #1 is the first formative assessment in the unit. See menu below for more information. Introduce students to TRAIL Markers, and how they will be used throughout the unit. Students turn to page 13
in their A4L Notebooks and reflect on their learning. Students share their reflections with one another. Sharing TRAIL Marker responses helps students think about what they are learning and helps teachers monitor student progress, and reteach or extend, based on what they observe.
Select one of the following options to facilitate the activity and discussion:
-Have students work in pairs or small groups to complete the TRAIL Marker notebook page. Have them talk before writing to get ideas flowing. Then, have a whole class discussion.
-Have students complete the TRAIL Marker Marker individually and then share in small groups or whole class.
TRAIL Marker: Formative Assessments
Purpose: TRAIL Markers are points in the unit for teachers and students to reflect on learning. During the TRAIL Markers, students stop and do a reflective activity connected to what they are learning with regards to reading, writing, and the arts and what they need to do next.
USE TRAIL MARKERS IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS:
1. Take stock of where the group and individuals are with respect to the learning objectives.
2. Engage students in conversation about what they have learned - get them to stop, think, and reflect. This can be whole class, small student groups, and/or individually with students.
Reflecting on your Reading with TRAIL Markers
"Before you perform, we're going to take a step back and reflect on the Seedfolks reading you have done for "Ana" and the character themes you created. Just like a trail marker in hiking, we have TRAIL Markers in our A4L lessons. It's a time in our lessons where we stop to do a quick activity, to help us think about what we're learning about reading and the arts, and what we need to do next. This will also help us get ready to share our work with our classmates."
"Open your A4L Notebooks to page 13. This page will help you remember the Seedfolks reading you've done for "Ana" and why you created the character themes the way you did. You'll work with your group to fill this in."
"The first prompt asks you to describe what you wanted to show about Ana in your character theme. The next prompt asks you to talk about how you played your theme to show those things. I'll model responding to these prompts using one of the sample Kim themes."
Reflecting and Reading Using the Sample Theme
Use "Sample Kim Theme #2" to think aloud as you model reflecting and writing responses to the TRAIL Marker, using prompts on the board or displaying Sample Response for TRAIL Marker #1.
"In 'Sample Kim Theme #2' there was a steady rhythm of alternating pitches. The ensemble that composed this theme wanted to show that Kim was feeling sad at the beginning of the chapter. But she was determined and got braver and stronger and at the end she is strong is confident. (Record response to prompt or display Sample Response.) To show this they played quiet alternating pitches on a glass jar and quiet shakers at the beginning to Kim feeling sad. Then they increased the dynamics and used four loud drum-beats at the end to show her changing and getting more confident." (Record response to prompt or display Sample Response.)
How Students Respond to the TRAIL Marker Prompts
"Now you try to put your thoughts into words. First, talk together about what you wanted to show about Ana. Work together to finish the sentence, "My ensemble wanted to show that Ana..." (Students discuss and write.) What clues in the chapter helped you make that decision? Finish the sentence by writing 1-3 clues from the story."
"Finally, talk together about how you decided to compose your theme. For example, you might have decided to begin with a solo instrument playing softly. Or begin with all instruments, and transition to just one or two. How did you make these decisions, and why?" (Students discuss and write.)
Lesson 6, PART B
Have students gather their instruments and sit with their ensembles. Give ensembles 10 minutes to review their Notation Charts for Ana and rehearse their themes. They may make revisions to their themes during this rehearsal.
Guide ensembles to present and reflect on their themes. See menu below Differentiation Options: Presenting & Reflecting on Themes for Ana
for ways to structure the activity. Predetermine if the Seedfolks Ensembles will share their themes in the front of the classroom or if they will stay at their desks, how many groups will present, and their order. See menu below Presentation Management in the Classroom
for suggestions for appreciating performances and focusing both audience and musicians. If you wish, you may video or audio record the presentations to further document the themes in preparation for the final performance.
Timing for each group to present and reflect is 5 minutes.
Presentation and Reflection Process
1. An ensemble spokesperson shares what members want to represent about the character.
2. A second spokesperson shares his/her Notation Chart and explains what the symbols in their notation represent (e.g., a symbol system that represents a gradual decreasing of dynamics, or alternating between playing on the side or top of a drum).
3. Ensemble plays the theme.
4. Class reflects using the Music Reflection Starters.
Use the Music Reflection Starters either posted on chart paper or projected on the document camera.
Differentiation Options: Presenting & Reflecting on Themes for Ana
After guiding ensembles to create themes, select one of the options listed below or structure the presenting and reflecting in a way that appropriately meets students' needs and fosters engagement.
Invite 2-3 groups to share. Guide whole class reflection. Invite 2-3 volunteer groups to share themes with the class. Guide reflection on music choices. Select this option if time and attention are limited.
All groups share themes OR 1/3 of the groups share. Facilitate all groups to share their themes for the class. Or, if 1/3 of ensembles shared their themes for Kim, the next third will share for Ana. And in Lesson 8 the final third will share themes for Wendell. Guide reflection as needed. Select this option if groups are able to constructively reflect on their peers' dances.
Groups share themes with buddy groups
(Select only if groups have space to spread out so each set can hear each other.) Invite 1 volunteer group to share with the class. Model reflection. Then, assign each group a "buddy group" and have groups share their themes for one another. Groups guide their own reflections. Select this option is students are comfortable and practiced facilitating their own sharing and reflecting activities.
Coaching Tips for the Arts: Presentation Management in the Classroom
Order of Presentations: Tell ensembles the order they will present/perform. This alleviates anxiety, and allows students to focus on the musicians.
Appreciating Work: When students finish presenting, appreciate their work with either sign language or beatnik applause. This is a quick way to appreciate student work and transition to reflection, the next ensemble, or the next set of instructions.
Focusing Audience and Musicians: When musicians move from the audience into the presentation space to present their work, there is usually side talking about the presentation. This is expected. Help students refocus by saying: "Audience ready? Musicians ready?" The audience and musicians do not respond verbally--this is a self-check.
Theme Presentation & Reflection
1. Ensemble shares what they wanted to represent about the character.
2. Ensemble plays the theme.
3. Class reflects on what they heard using these Reflection Starters.
(Describe the sounds made by the different instruments: faster, slower, higher or lower pitched, louder, softer, etc.)
-When you played the instruments, I noticed that...
(Describe how the musicians played the instruments: all together, overlapping, beginning and ending sounds)
-How did you decide... _____________________________________?
(Ask questions such as ...which instrument would play first or last? ...to play X instrument the way you did? ...to create that new instrument? ...to coordinate your timing among players?)
-Your theme made me think about... __________________________________.
(Describe what the theme showed about Ana, or the feelings it communicated.)
Coaching Tips for the Arts: Reflecting on Music
Reflecting on music
-Use Music Reflection Starters to guide reflection. Over the course of the unit, students will gradually take over the reflection process.
-Guide your students to be specific when they respond to the music. This improves their observation skills, composing skills, and ability to interpret meaning in music and sound.
-Help students focus on what was effective in the performance, and describe choices that worked. Encourage discussion in terms of effective layering and use of the Elements of Music (as opposed to likes and dislikes). This type of feedback helps to develop a discerning listener, one able to listen to and evaluate various styles of music with a more open ear. It also supports student composers, validating their choices and helping them think about future choices.
-Begin the reflection with: "I noticed..." "I thought it was effective when ..." "How did you decide to..."
-Prompt students with questions like: "What combination of instruments was especially effective?" "Did you hear a change in (dynamics, pitch, timbre)? Describe it."
-Guide students to comment on how the music reflected the character's experience, e.g., "How did the music reflect the changes in Kim? How she felt at the beginning and end of the chapter?" Use the statements performers made prior to their presentation to help direct these questions.
-Ask students to rephrase any comment that starts with "I liked that..." or "I didn't like..."
Reviewing the Reflection Process
"We'll follow the same presentation and reflection process we did for Kim's theme. A spokesperson will explain what you want to show about the character through your music. A second spokesperson will project a copy of your graphic notation and explain the symbols you used and what they show. Then the ensemble will play its theme. After the ensemble plays, class members will reflect on what they heard, using our Music Reflection Starters." (Review posted or projected Reflection Starters.)
"The order you will present is . . ." (Give order.)
"Let's have the first ensemble come into the presentation space." (Ensemble comes into the space or stays at desks.)
"Audience ready? Musicians ready?"
"Ensemble, please begin by telling us what you chose to represent about Ana, explain your graphic notation, and then play your theme. (Representatives share, and ensemble plays.) Let's appreciate the ensemble with (sign language or beatnik) appreciation." (Students appreciate.)
"Audience, reflect back to the ensemble what you noticed and heard using the Reflection Starters. (Audience reflects.) Let's appreciate the ensemble again with (sign language or beatnik) appreciation." (Students appreciate. Repeat process for remaining ensembles.)
Process: Restore the room to its original state. Students return instruments to their correct storage unit. Feel free to assign students the responsibility of organizing instruments into bins and putting bins away. Students return to their regularly assigned seats.
"Now we will restore the classroom to its original set up. When you hear the 'Go' signal, please return the instruments to their designated music stations. Restore the desks and go to your assigned seat." (Remind students how to restore the room, including putting instruments away, moving desks, and going back to their assigned seats. Play "Go" signal.)
Process: Close the lesson with a look forward, describing the next lesson.
In our next lesson, we'll begin a new chapter and explore the character through music.
Performing The Closing Ritual (Optional)
"To close our theater lessons, we'll appreciate our work and each other with a unified clap. On three we'll all clap once and say, 'Huh!' 1-2-3 (clap) Huh!"
CONGRATULATIONS ON COMPLETING LESSON 6! YOU ARE NOW READY TO MOVE ONTO LESSON 7 OF UNIT 4.