This week, I had the opportunity to work with a group of six of my peers to create a cross-curricular lesson or unit plan in my music education class based off of the “Rain Chant” found on page 204 of Campbell, Kassner, & Kassner’s “Music for Elementary Teachers” textbook. My group decided to take our lesson in a science direction, using the chant to teach Grade Two students about different forms of precipitation, and then ‘make’ different forms of precipitation using body percussion.
We taught this to our peers by first asking them about different types of weather, including the weather outside today (which, unfortunately for our lesson, was not rainy). We then collaborated with the class to think of different body percussion movements we could make to make different precipitation sounds (ie rain, snow, hail, etc). We then thought of different kinds of body percussion sounds that correlate to different types of precipitation that we could put to the words of the “Rain Chant”, which included patting legs, tapping fingers on the desk, using our ‘hand drums’, stomping, and using hand gestures. Teaching the class went really smoothly, and my peers all seemed to be engaged in and enjoy the lesson.
From teaching this music integration lesson, I really learned how easy it is to make cross-curricular music lessons. There is so much you can do or connect to different subjects even from one simple chant, like what our class did with the “Rain Chant”! I also learned that getting student participation and suggestions is huge; this was one of the things that my peers mentioned that they really liked about my group’s lesson! I also learned that, even though I thought my group and I spoke at a reasonably slow pace, that we actually need to slow down our talking even more as teach to make things as clear as possible for the students we teach.
I’m looking forward to teaching my peers a music integrated lesson again soon! I’m also getting more excited now about teaching music for Kindergarten to Grade 5 students for my upcoming practicum in April.