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Feel the Music

Music and art come alive as students explore jazz music through collage, paint and creation of a corresponding song. This rich mixed-media lesson engages a variety of learning styles and student interests.

  • Grade 3
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Gather students to read Jazz on a Saturday Night by Leo & Diane Dillon. As a class explore how jazz evolved. Share classic jazz music and images with students. Create a chart of questions and observations. Emphasize how musicians convey a variety of moods through beat melody and tone, much the way artists use color, composition and value.
    2. Allow students to imagine their own songs. What would they sound like? Fast or slow? What instruments would play? What colors would be represented? Explain they will be writing a verse or refrain for their piece. Demonstrate working through this process. You may want to listen to a few classic jazz artworks to motivate students and help them gather ideas. As a class, It may also be helpful to generate a list of possible song ideas on the board.
    3. Demonstrate how to create a wash on heavy white paper with Crayola® Washable Watercolor Paints. This is done by painting the paper with with water first: while wet, drop colors onto the paper filing the space. Limited colors will aide in demonstrating tone of music a student wishes to create. Allow this paper to dry for several hours.
    4. Explain to students that they will be creating a collage that represents their individual songs in a visual way. They will show a musician performing the song. Through color, size and composition, they will show the song. Have students create a sketch on copy paper that will guide their collage creation. After students finish, allow time to partner talk, suggest students give their partner two compliments on their plan and one idea to think about as they go forward.
    5. Using Crayola Pointed-Tip Scissors cut out shapes from construction paper to create shapes representing their musician. Remind students to reference the shapes they see in their sketch as they cut.
    6. Instruments can me made by printing images from creative commons. Print and photocopy a variety of images ahead of time for student choice.
    7. Scrapbook paper pieces can be added for accent or embellishment to musician.
    8. All pieces should be secured largest to smallest using Crayola Washable Glue Sticks.
    9. Allow students to embellish the collage with Crayola Oil Pastels. Encourage students to use pastels to add small details with pastels including hair, buttons, shoes, etc.
    10. To make pieces display ready: center artwork on black construction paper and secure with Crayola™ Washable Glue©. Add musical verse beside art to create interdisciplinary display.
    11. Conclude lesson with student presentations to the class. Allow time for students to present artwork and song to their classmates. They should emphasize unique attributes, discuss problems they encountered and explain how they solved those problems.
  • Standards

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    LA: 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.

    LA: Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Identify and describe ways family, groups, and community influence the individual’s daily life and personal choices.

    SS: Explore factors that contribute to one’s personal identity such as interests, capabilities, and perceptions.

    VA: Creativity and innovative thinking are essential life skills that can be developed.

    VA: Elaborate on an imaginative idea.

    VA: Refine and complete artistic work.

    VA: Elaborate visual information by adding details in an artwork to enhance emerging meaning.

    VA: Create personally satisfying artwork using a variety of artistic processes and materials.

    VA: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.

  • Adaptations

    Extend the learning with technology. There are several simple applications that allow students to photograph their piece, record their song. With a simple line at the instrument or mouth of performer, the artwork appears to "sing". Students can digitally share.

    Working collaboratively allows opportunity to work larger, with more ideas. You may choose to make this project a group activity where students create a jazz band with a complete song and possible corresponding performance.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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