Monday, August 4, 2008

Assignment #4- A Musical Prompt

Creating a musical prompt: postcards from the concert. I decided to use this Lesson from Read Write Think which students will use music to help them with their writing but in a creative, fun way! My middle school students love music, they all have ipods and when ever they have free time they sit and listen to their music, so I thought I could incorporate this into a lesson so I know my students would be engaged in the lesson. After listening to a song ( I would chose a song they know), they write simple sentences describing the music and what it made them think of. They then use the strategy of sentence combining to write more interesting sentences that sound better to readers. This strategy involves peer collaboration and an opportunity for students to practice sentences to improve their writing. They publish their musical responses using an interactive, online Postcard Creator to send to a family member or friend. Directions: Students will go on to ReadWriteThink hyperlink Session 1: Music and Sentence Combining 1. Begin the lesson by asking students to close their eyes and think about what it is like during a thunderstorm. Prompt them for words and phrases that they associate with a thunderstorm, such as loud, booming, flashes of lightening, windy, drenching, leaves blowing. Record students’ responses on the board or chart paper. 2. Access the Stormy Weather website, and have students close their eyes again and listen to Summer by Antonio Vivaldi, which is an orchestrated piece that hints at the coming of a summer thunderstorm. After playing the song, ask students how the song made them feel. What was the mood? What did it make them think of? Based on the song, ask students to generate additional words and phrases for the list started in Step 1. 3. Model for students how you would write a few simple sentences in response to the music using words from the list. The storm came fast.The storm was powerful.It blew around leaves.The rain was drenching.My friends and I had to run inside my house. 4. Play the music again while students write six or seven simple sentences in response to the song on a piece of paper. After about 5 to 10 minutes, ask for a few volunteers to share their sentences with the class. 5. Begin to model orally how you would combine the sentences you wrote to make them sound better and be more interesting. Explain your thought process as you are combining sentences to show how you are trying out different alternatives before settling on the sentence that sounds the best. The powerful storm came fast and blew around the leaves in my yard. Model a few additional examples of sentence combining using either your own sentences or sentences from a few students in the class. 6. Pair students to work together to combine the sentences that they wrote. Be sure to encourage students to play around with different possible sentence combinations and to discuss them together. There is no right or wrong answer. Circulate around the room while students are working to be sure they are on task and to help those who are struggling. Focus less on formal grammar rules, and more on helping students determine which sentences sound the best. 7. Close the sessions by asking a few students to share their sentence combinations and to explain how they arrived at their responsesName: ________________________________________________ Date: ______________________ Sentence Combining and Postcard Project Rubric Deluxe Postcard - 4 Points • Able to combine sentences that are interesting, express a clear message, and are easy to understand • Follows the postcard formatting and gives a personal response to the concert • Addresses intended audience appropriately • Includes illustration that matches message content • Demonstrates positive attitude and excellent participation Regular Postcard - 3 Points • Able to combine sentences that express a clear message, but are not very interesting • Follows the postcard formatting, but does not give a personal response to the concert • Addresses intended audience suffi ciently • Includes illustration that somewhat relates to message content • Demonstrates positive attitude and suffi cient participation Card Without Postage - 2 Points • Able to write simple sentences only or combine sentences that do not express a clear message • Makes mistakes when following the postcard formatting • Has diffi culty addressing intended audience • Includes illustration that does not match message content • Demonstrates poor attitude or little participation Blank Postcard - 1 Point • Not able to write complete sentences or express a clear message • Does not follow the postcard formatting • Does not addresses intended audience • Does not include an illustration • Does not participate *Show this to the students before the project starts. Encourage the students to strive for a Deluxe Postcard. You can share examples of each level of postcard to help students understand the point system.

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