Mortimer Music Lesson Plan

I created a music lesson plan based off the book Mortimer by Robert Munsch.  Feel free to use it! It is a fun lesson appropriate for all ages.

Arts Education Learning Lesson Plan 

Lesson Time Required: 20-25 Minutes

Grade Level & Conceptual Focus: Grade 1 Patterns

Key Inquiry Question:  How can we incorporate music patterns into literature?

Pre-requisite Learning: 

  • Students will have been introduced to solfege ( SO, MI, LA)
  • Students will have been introduced to basic music terminology and notations.
  • Students will have been previously introduced to playing different pitched and non-pitched instruments to a steady beat.
  • Students will have previously used body percussion and be comfortable with basic beats.

Required Resources and Materials: 

  • MORTIMER by Robert Munch
  • Assortment of pitched and non-pitched instruments (For this lesson I used to a hand drum and triangle, but teacher may use more than those instruments or different instruments)
  • White board and Markers
  • Piano or computer to play the “Clang Clang” song (this is not required, however if you are not comfortable singing on pitch from memory playing the piece will be helpful).

Arts Education Goals Addressed and Proposed Learning Outcomes & Indicators:

  • P. 1.5 Create music expressions and contribute to decisions about ideas, sounds, instruments and order (e.g. loud/ soft, fast/slow, high/ low).
    1. Experiment with voice and instruments by creating and imitating sound. (We will use our voice and instruments to create sound and sing a song)
    2. c) Play simple pitched and non-pitched instruments and body percussion. (We will use the hand drum, triangle and body percussion).
    3. e) Select sounds with purpose and organize sound to convey particular images or expressive qualities. (We will use instruments to create a Thump sound getting louder or quieter to convey the image of someone coming up the stairs or going down the stairs).
  • P. 1.6 Demonstrate understanding of patterns and the elements of music including: same and different patterns, rhythm (e.g. difference between beat and rhythm, sounds and silences, long and short sounds), dynamics (loud and soft), pitch (high and low sounds), texture (sounds heard alone or together), tone colours (distinguish between).
  1. d) Imitate, create and respond to rhythmic and melodic patterns. ( Use my turn your turn teaching to teach Mortimer’s song)
  2. h) Sing variety of grade appropriate music, matching pitch with some accuracy [SO, MI, LA] ( Sing Mortimer’s song using SO, MI and LA)
  • R. 1.1 Demonstrate understanding that the arts are a way expressing ideas.
  1. c) Examine individual and collaborative problem-solving and decision-making process.

(How can we demonstrate crescendo and decrescendo)

  • 1 Describe the arts and cultural traditions found in own home and school community.
    1. Recognize that there are artists working in own community (and in own country. Give example of Robert Munsch, Canadian author).

Cross Curricular Competencies:  Developing thinking, Developing literacies

Connections with Other Areas of Study:  Drama (students could also act out the different scenarios), Language Arts (Repetition of reading the story will help the students to learn basic reading skills and learn to put sounds together.)

Planned Learning Activities:  

  • Teacher will introduce Mortimer and Robert Munsch to the students. Explain that he is a Canadian author, that there are lots of authors even in our own community, and that literature is an art form.
  • Teacher will read the story Mortimer to the students one time through.
  • Teacher will review Solfege with the students (SO, MI, LA) using the Curwen hand signals.
  • Teacher will play “CLANG CLANG” for the students once through so that they can hear how it sounds using a piano or app. (I used the Crescendo app by NCH software to compose the piece as well as play it).
  • Teacher will teach the students “CLANG CLANG” using my turn your turn. Be sure to use the Curwen hand signs while doing it. Ask the students to use the hand signs as well.
  • Once the teacher feels that the students are comfortable enough singing “CLANG CLANG” while using hand signs, they will read the story Mortimer again to the students. This time whenever Mortimer sings, the students will sing “CLANG CLANG” using their hand signs.
  • Teacher will use whiteboard and marker to introduce the terms Crescendo and Decrescendo to the students. Explain to them that Crescendo means to start quiet and get louder and Decrescendo means to start loud and get quieter.
  • Teacher will ask the students to demonstrate the terms using a “wooo” noise starting quiet and getting louder and then again starting loud and getting quieter.
  • Once the teacher feels that the students have an understanding of the terms Crescendo and Decrescendo, they will ask them for their input for ideas where there could be crescendos and decrescendos used in the story Mortimer. Once suggestions have been made, if it wasn’t offered up, teacher will explain to the students to use crescendos for when someone comes up the stairs (THUMPS) and decrescendos for when someone goes down the stairs (THUMPS).
  • Teacher will assign instruments to half the class. They will demonstrate what a crescendo and decrescendo look like on the hand drum and triangle and any other instruments selected.
  • Students will practice their instruments to a steady beat of 5 or 6 (THUMPS) getting louder and quieter. Students who do not have an instrument can practice using body percussion.
  • Teacher will read Mortimer again to the students. Students will continue to sing their “CLANG CLANG” song with Curwen hand signs when Mortimer sings. This time the students will also play their instruments or body percussion using a crescendo whenever someone goes upstairs and a decrescendo whenever someone goes downstairs. Teacher should remind students when the THUMPS are coming to start quiet and get louder or start loud and get quieter.
  • Teacher can read Mortimer a few more times switching instruments with the students to ensure that they each get to play an instrument at least once. If pressed for time, teacher could also have the students switch instruments after each page.
  • Teacher could record the final time through and add it to the students’ profiles or blog sites if they have one. 

Plans for Assessment: (anecdotal records, observations, rubrics, rating scales, portfolios, etc.)

  • Teacher will observe students throughout the lesson as they work on their solfege (hand signs) singing and use of crescendos and decrescendos.
  • Teacher will take note of student’s ability to use Curwen hand signs while singing “CLANG CLANG”, an assessment rating of 1-4 will be given.
  • Teacher will take note of student’s ability to play crescendos and decrescendos with pitched and non-pitched instruments, an assessment rating of 1-4 will be given.
  • Teacher will observe students on their participation and an assessment mark of 1-4 will be given.

Performance Assessment Rating Scale:

Curwen hand sign skills:

4- The student consistently uses the Curwen hand signs when singing.

3- The student usually uses the Curwen hand signs when singing.

2- The student struggles to use the Curwen hand signs when singing.

1- The student is unable to use the Curwen hand signs when singing.

 

Playing crescendos and decrescendos with pitched and non-pitched instruments:

4- The student consistently demonstrated that they understood how to play crescendos and decrescendos with pitched and non- pitched instruments.

3- The student usually demonstrated that they understood how to play crescendos and decrescendos with pitched and non-pitched instruments.

2- The student struggled to demonstrate that they understood how to play crescendos and decrescendos with pitched and non-pitched instruments.

1- The student was unable to demonstrate that they understood how to play crescendos and decrescendos with pitched and non-pitched instruments.

 

Participation:

 

4- The student consistently participated throughout the lesson.

3- The student usually participated throughout the lesson.

2- The student struggled to participate throughout the lesson.

1- The student was unable to participate throughout the lesson. \

 

Name Hand Signs Crescendo & Decrescendo Participation Total
Katie 4 4 4 12
Liam 4 3 4 11
Sophie 3 2 3 8

 

 

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