Poetry is Music

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SWBAT understand the connection between poems and music by feeling rhythm, hearing rhyme, and noticing repetition throughout the poem.

Big Idea

Rhythm in poetry!


30 minutes

Gather students on the rug in their just right spots.

Part 1:

Teaching point:  Readers can describe how words and phrases supply rhythm and meaning to a poem.

Rhythm is the beat of the text: the words or syllables that are stressed or accented.

Rhyme are words that have the same ending sounds.

Repeating lines are lines that occur over again like an echo.

Today students you will watch a Reading Rainbow episode starring LeVar Burton called Zin! Zin Zin Violin.  I picked this book for you to hear because it illustrates how instruments such as the trombone, trumpet, french horn, and violin blend their sounds to create music.  Poetry works in the same way, but instead of using the different instruments poetry uses words and phrases to create rhythm, rhyme and repeated lines to create a poem.

First you will hear a reading of the book Zin! Zin! Zin! Violin.  After you hear the book read to you by Gregory Hines a famous tap dancer, you will have a chance to discuss how the author uses rhythm, rhythm and repeated lines to create this text.

Start video and stop at 7:22. Tell students to turn and talk about how Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin uses rhythm, rhyme and repeated lines to create an interesting text.  Direct students to explain their thinking by referring to the text.

Discuss and write down students thinking.

Part 2:

Now, you will watch students at the Julliard School of Music practicing a piece of music during a rehearsal.  The conductor uses his baton to direct the students to play together them together creating the rhythm or beat of the music.

Musicians must play together at exactly the same time and at the same tempo or speed.

As you watch this video, I want you to be thinking what is each person's responsibility to the orchestra?  and second, how does the orchestra work as a team?

Play video and stop at 15:15 min/secs.

After this part posed the two questions, one at a time through a turn and talk.

Question 1: What is each person's responsibility to the orchestra?  Capture students thinking by writing down their ideas.

Question 2: How does the orchestra work as a team?

Part 3

Stomp: Rhythm and Precision

Stomp is a percussion group, originating in England, that uses the body and ordinary objects to create a physical theatre performance.

After we watch this last part you will have the chance to talk about what you noticed, so be ready to share with your partner.

Discuss what students noticed (focus on teamwork, knowing their parts, practice, and how they used rhythm to create a performance).

Next set students up for reading with a partner the book Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin

"Students, now you will get with a partner to read the book Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin.  As you read pay attention to how the author used words and phrases to create rhythm and rhyme.  Take turns reading each page.  Reread as necessary to practice your performance.  You want to read the words just as the author wrote them to bring the book alive with fluency, rhythm and rhyme.


Partner Reading

15 minutes

Students stand up and find a partner that you want to read with today.  Make a Teepee with your hands and I will give you a copy of the text from Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin to read with your partner.

Pass out copies of the text.  Once students are settled and pair reading, make a announcement restating the task:  "Take turns reading and rereading the text to bring alive the words and phrases through rhythm and rhyme."

As students are partner reading circulate among the pairs listening in and coaching by modeling or asking students to reread, or by helping with difficult words.

Share out

10 minutes

Bring students back to the rug to sit in a circle with their copies of the text.  Have a volunteer read the title, and the next student in the circle read the first stanza, continue going around the circle until all 14 stanzas have been read and then repeat.  Every student will have an opportunity to read.

Relate the reading back to how in the video everyone is responsible for their own part and that contributes to the whole.