Grade: Elementary
Subject: Music

#1986. Teaching Adjectives with Music

Music, level: Elementary
Posted Sat Nov 11 09:50:54 PST 2000 by Amber Schwanbeck (
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Pa
Materials Required: "The Little Mermaid" CD
Activity Time: 20 to 30 minutes
Concepts Taught: Adjectives and Syncopation

Amber Schwanbeck
Adjectives and Syncopation-3rd grade

Teaching Adjectives with Music

1. TLW be able to explain what an adjective is and why we use them.
2. TLW be able to identify adjectives both in and out of context.
3. TLW be able to express how a song makes them feel by using adjectives.
4. TLW be able to explain what syncopation is and how it can be related to the role of adjectives.

*poster board
*Disney's The Little Mermaid CD
* "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" (pg. 327) from The Musical Classroom
*piano and CD player
*pencils and paper

A. Introduction
The teacher will begin the lesson by pointing out an adjective in a sentence written on poster board. The teacher will explain that an adjective is a word that describes. Adjectives can describe things we see, taste, smell, touch, hear, and feel. For example, we can describe what someone is wearing. The teacher will further explain that adjectives can also be used to describe things that you can not see. (These concepts will be written on the poster board.) For example, many times you hear a bird singing, but you can not see where the bird is located. This is the same with music. We hear music all of the time, on the radio, TV, at sporting events, yet we can not always see it. The teacher will ask if that means that we can not describe it. The answer is no and to reinforce this concept and to have the children identify and use adjectives, the students will participate in an activity.
B. Principal Activity
The teacher will explain that in a moment she will play the song "Kiss the Girl" from Disney's A Little Mermaid. The students will be instructed to not only write down the adjectives that they hear in the song, but also adjectives that describe how the song makes them feel. At the conclusion of the song, the teacher will ask for the adjectives that the students heard and also the ones that describe how the song made them feel.
C. Conclusion
The teacher will explain that we can relate adjectives to the musical concept of syncopation. Syncopation is a rhythm in which an accent is placed on a normally weak beat. For example, we can hear syncopation in the song "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing". The teacher will play the first line of this song on the piano, while pointing out and having the students listen for the syncopation. The teacher will then explain that we can also find and hear syncopation in "Kiss the Girl". The teacher will replay a part of this song having the students listen carefully for the syncopation. The teacher will explain that we can think of adjectives in terms of syncopation because adjectives place an accent on a normally weak word.

The students will be evaluated on the adjectives they found and expressed during the lesson. They will also be evaluated on their understanding of syncopation and how it can be related to adjectives.