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Rhythm 'n Blues

Colorful posters display information learned about R&B singers, musicians, and instruments.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Organize students into small groups. Ask groups to research facts about rhythm and blues (R&B) music, musicians, and instruments. How and where did this genre of music develop? Who are some of its major stars? What are the differences and similarities between blues and jazz? Groups organize information for a poster presentation and select a fitting title.
    2. On poster board, team members hand letter the title and draw at least five typical R&B instruments and/or vocalists with Crayola® Washable Markers. Write important facts about each person, instrument, or the music.
    3. Use a visual technique to spotlight each picture or fact. For example, color concentric rings around each one until circles touch each other.
    4. Outline each drawing with Crayola Washable Glitter Glue to add to the drama that is typical of a rhythm and blues performance. Dry.
    5. Groups present their posters and new learning to small groups of classmates.
  • Standards

    LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

    LA: Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

    LA: Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

    MATH: Compare two fractions with different numerators and different denominators, e.g., by creating common denominators or numerators, or by comparing to a benchmark fraction such as 1/2.

    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: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    SS: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.

    VA: Select media, techniques, an processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of choices.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Rhythm and Blues, Rap, and Hip-Hop by Frank Hoffmann; I See the Rhythm by Toyomi Igua; The Jazz Fly by Matthew Gollub

    Invite a local musician to speak with the class about music and pursuing a career as a musical artist. Prior to the meeting, students prepare questions for the expert. After the visit, students post learning to a class blog.

    Working independently or in teams of two, students investigate the life and career of a famous rhythm and blues musician. Organize research into an electronic format for presentation to classmates.

    Students work in small groups to compose an original jazz or rhythm and blues song. If possible, ask the school music teacher for assistance and inspiration for the song. Be prepared to perform the song live for classmates or videotape a performance and upload the file to a class computer for future viewing.


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