Baltimore Curriculum Project Draft Lessons

Introductory Notes

These lessons generally follow the grade-by-grade topics in the Core Knowledge Sequence, but they have been developed independent of the Core Knowledge Foundation. While the Core Knowledge Foundation encourages the development and sharing of lessons based on the Core Knowledge Sequence, it does not endorse any one set of lesson plans as the best or only way that the knowledge in the Sequence should be taught.

You may feel free to download and distribute these lessons, but please note that they are currently in DRAFT form. At this time the draft lessons on this web site do NOT have accompanying graphics, such as maps or cut-out patterns. Graphics will be added to this site later.

In participating BCP schools, these lessons are used in conjunction with the Direct Instruction skills programs in reading, language, and math. If you use or adapt these lessons, keep in mind that they are meant to address content and the application of skills. You will need to use other materials to ensure that children master skills in reading, language, and math.


Finish listening carefully to orchestral piece of classical music.

Begin to recognize characteristic sounds of string family and piano.

Understand two different ways of playing stringed instruments--bowed and plucked.


Recording of Saint-Saëns, The Carnival of the Animals (See Lesson 6 for recommendation.)


Quickly review with the children the points made in Lesson 6 regarding

classical music


families of instruments

piano sounds

supplementing with pictures and/or books whenever possible.

Remind the children of the composer and name of the piece they heard last time and the fact that in The Carnival of the Animals Saint-Saëns uses particular instruments to sound like certain animals--the way they move, the way they look, and sometimes the way they sound. Play the opening two sections of the piece and ask if anyone remembers what animals are being portrayed and which instruments were used to portray the animals ("Introduction" and "Royal March of the Lions" - pianos and strings; "Hens and Roosters" - strings played with bowed violins).

Stop the music and begin to create a chart on the board with the names of the animals on one side and the instruments on the other. It would probably look something like this:


Royal March of the Lion pianos and strings
Hens and roosters strings (whole family)
Wild asses pianos alone
Lumbering tortoises hugely slowed down can-can
Elephant Double-bass plays melody (string family) while pianos do the accompaniment
Kangaroos pianos alone
Aquarium (mysterious water & fishes) xylophone (percussion family), muted strings,
Donkeys strings alone; high & low like zipping whips
Cuckoo deep in the woods "cuckoo" call from clarinet (woodwind family)
Aviaries (places where birds are kept) flute, piano, and strings talk back and forth; strings, deep plucked, high bowed)
Pianists Lots of mistakes in typical piano practicing scales
Fossils Xylophone (percussion family)
Swan cello solo (string family) with soft piano accompaniment

If you have the time to guide the children through each section of the piece, stop briefly between each one and tell the children to listen for the following:

1. Intro & Royal March

2 pianos "announce" the royal entrance with a heralding that royal horns might play.

2. Hens and roosters

Strings sound like raucous cackling and nervous pecking of chickens in a barnyard.

3. Wild asses

Pianos are alone and keep running up & down the keyboard with wild abandon.

4. Lumbering tortoises - joke

If you can sing (& dance?!) the can-can for the children, tell them about all the leg waving by chorus girls, and the fact that it's always a dance, they will understand what a musical joke this is. It is hugely slowed down and smoothed out, like hearing the aural equivalent of a slow-motion camera or film.

5. Elephant - another joke

Slowed-down waltz in 3/4 time; piano plays the oom-pah-pah part while the deep, deep double basses play the dance melody with bows to sound like lumbering elephants.

6. Kangaroos

Pianos are alone, imitating the animals jumping around and landing gently from place to place.

7. Aquarium

Strings are muted & xylophone plays sounds of mysterious far away bells; piano plays tinkling sounds.

8. Donkeys

Strings play alone, bowed high & low like zipping whips

9. Cuckoo deep in the woods

"Cuckoo" call by solo clarinet plays against soft chords from the pianos.

10. Aviaries (where birds are kept in huge cage)

At first, violins play soft sounds of fluttering wings as of birds awaking, then deep string

plucked (pizzicato) underneath while flute winds a bird-like melody above.

11. Pianists - joke

Typical practicing scales going up and down keyboard getting gradually faster & faster.

12. Fossils - another musical joke

Solo xylophone plays a phrase, then piano repeats with strings; pattern repeats a few times, then clarinet solo with piano accompaniment. The "fossils" refers to how old and worn these little musical phrases are.

13. Swan

This is one of the world's most beautiful melodies; like a swan floating gracefully on still water.

14. Introduction and Royal March

The opening theme repeats for the sake of rounding out the form, but it is not an exact repetition; slightly altered (changed) so the "whips" from the "Donkeys" section return briefly.

Ask: How can you tell this time it's the end and not the beginning? (No answer is required, but they will know it's the end, and it would be interesting to know how they describe it.)


Second Grade - Lesson 8 - Songs


Learn to sing two war songs and a traditional song for New Year's Eve.

Listen to Scottish inflections in text by Robert Burns.


Texts for three songs, printed below

Music and text underlay for Reveille, traditionally included with You're In the Army Now, printed below

Auld Lang Syne

The melody of this song, which has become traditional to sing for New Year's Eve, comes from an old Scottish folk tune. The words to Verses 2 and 3 are written by the Scottish poet Robert Burns; Verses 1 and 4 are anonymous. It was Burns who first wrote down the words and the music. The Scottish dialect of the text is difficult to learn; the best approach might be to teach the children the first verse only; if you wish, you could sing the other verses to them so they have a taste of what the Scottish dialect sounds like. Have them join you each time the "Auld lang syne" part returns. They should understand the basic meaning as bringing to mind the friendship and experiences that two old friends have shared.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

And days of auld lang syne?

And days of auld lang syne, my dear,

And days of auld lang syne,

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And days of auld lang syne?

We twa ha'e run aboot the braes

And pu'd the gowans fine,

We've wander'd mony a weary foot,

Sin' auld lang syne.

Sin' auld lang syne, my dear,

Sin' auld lang syne,

We' ve wander'd mony a weary foot,

Sin' auld lang syne.


We twa ha'e sported I' the burn,

From morning sun till dine,

But seas between us braid ha'e roar'd,

Sin, auld lang syne.

Sin' auld lang syne, my dear,

Sin, auld lang syne,

But seas between us braid ha'e roar'd

Sin' auld lang syne.


Second Grade - Lesson 8 - Songs

And here's a hand, my trusty frien',

And gie's a hand o' thine;

We'll tak' a cup of kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,

For auld lang syne,

We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.

When Johnny Comes Marching Home

This has been a popular army song since the Civil War, but probably the tune was originally from Ireland. Anyone familiar with the period of the 1960s will remember that groups such as the Clancy Brothers revived the popularity of the song, singing it as an anti-war song, during the time of the Viet Nam War.) The children will recognize the references to the events of the Civil War they have studied in American Civilization this month.

When Johnny comes marching home again,

Hurrah! Hurrah!

We'll give him a hearty welcome then,

Hurrah! Hurrah!

The men will cheer the boys will shout

The ladies they will all turn out,

And we'll all feel gay

When Johnny comes marching home.

Get ready for the Jubilee,

Hurrah! Hurrah!

We'll give the hero three times three,

Hurrah! Hurrah!

The laurel wreath is ready now

To place upon his loyal bow,

And we'll all feel gay

When Johnny comes marching home.

In eighteen hundred and sixty-one

Hurrah! Hurrah!

That was when the war begun,

Hurrah! Hurrah!

In eighteen hundred and sixty-two,

Both sides were falling to,

And we'll all drink stone wine,

When Johnny comes marching home.

In eighteen hundred and sixty-three,

Hurrah! Hurrah!


Second Grade - Lesson 8 - Songs

Abe Lincoln set the darkies free,

Hurrah! Hurrah!

In eighteen hundred and sixty-three

Old Abe set the darkies free,

And we'll all drink stone wine,

When Johnny comes marching home.

In eighteen hundred and sixty-four,

Hurrah! Hurrah!

Abe called for five hundred thousand more,

Hurrah! Hurrah!

In eighteen hundred and sixty-five,

They talked rebellion--strife;

And we'll all drink stone wine

When Johnny comes marching home.

You're In the Army Now

This is a traditional Army song, sung by new recruits as they march to their training fields. The children should know that the Reveille is usually played (without words) every morning to get everyone out of bed with a lively blast on a bugle (looks like a trumpet without valves). Its rhythm is very special, and they will find as they learn the words, that the rhythm is reinforced by the words. Try showing the music and words of the Reveille on an overhead projector, so the children have a sense of how the music and words fit together, even though they may not technically be able to read music. The more they see and sing together, the more they will begin to understand musical notation.

You're in the Army now,

You're not behind the plow;

You'll never get rich,

By digging a ditch,

You're in the Army now.

You're in the Army now,

You're in the Army now.

You'll never get rich,

You'll never get rich,

You're in the Army now.


We got to get up, We got to get up, We got to get up this morning.

We can't get 'em up, We can't get 'em up, We can't get 'em up at all.

The corp'ral's worse than sergeants, The sergeant's worse than captains,

The captain's worse than colonels; And the bugler's worst of all!


Second Grade - Lesson 8 - Songs


Second Grade - Extra Listening Lesson for December - Rhythm


Listen to piece of classical music written for ballet.

Participate in rhythmic pattern typical of American square dance.

Learn to keep time to regular 2/4 meter.


Recording or cassette of "Hoe Down" from Aaron Copland's Rodeo (anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes depending upon the performance. Copland's "Hoe Down" is available in nearly a dozen performances in combination with other pieces of his.

Recommended Book

Untermeyer, Louis. Tales From the Ballet. New York: Golden Press, 1968.

This book, beautifully illustrated by the Provensens, is a wonderful resource for the stories of ballets, including such favorites as Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. The stories are good for reading aloud to the children, and original production information (such as the names of the choreographer, composer, and librettist) is given for each of the ballets in a special section at the back.


This is a very brief and spirited piece that makes a good supplement to the Westward Expansion Unit that the students completed in November. The piece is very short, and can be played just for listening and appreciation in a free 5- or 10-minute break in the day. In order to teach the rhythmic pattern, another 15 minutes would be sufficient.

Tell the children that the piece you will play is part of a ballet suite written by an American composer named Aaron Copland who lived from 1900 to 1990. He wrote many pieces for American ballet companies, for movies, and for orchestras. He is a classical composer very much influenced by the rhythms of all kinds of dance.

Say: The name of the whole ballet that the piece was written for is Rodeo. Can someone tell us what a rodeo is?

If they need help, tell them that a rodeo first meant a cattle roundup. Eventually, the word came to mean a special entertainment event where cowboys do all kinds of exciting tricks with lassoes, fancy riding of horses and cattle, and it usually includes some square and folk dancing.

Say: The part of the Rodeo we will hear is called "Hoe Down," and you will hear the typical square dancing sounds of a special kind of string playing that we call "fiddle." It is really just a violin (picture from the file folder as a review and reminder) but played with a particular bowing style and without any of the soft, vibrating tone used by violins in a symphony orchestra. Instead, fiddlers play with a snappy, sharp sound.

Play the piece for the children. Then ask: Doesn't it make you feel like clapping and tapping or dancing?

Put on the board the following diagram:


Second Grade - Extra Listening Lesson for December - Rhythm

Clap hands 2

Tap heel 4

Play the Hoe Down again, and join the children in clapping and tapping the rhythm. They will find it very easy to do this. After they have done it once or twice to the music, tell them this is a typical Hoe Down rhythmic pattern.

Ask: Does the music go in twos or threes? (twos)

Can you find the number at the beginning of the piece that might tell us? (time or meter signature is written 2 )

4 )

Say: The top number tells us there are 2 counts in each measure. The bottom number tells us the kind of note that gets 1 count. What is the bottom number? (4) That tells us that a quarter or walking note gets 1 count. Since each of the notes we've marked with a little tail is half of a walking or quarter note, we can count 1 and 2 and, 1 and 2 and for each measure as we tap and clap.

Once the children have caught on, tell them they will have many other chances to learn about reading music, but for now, they have learned something about reading the time or meter signature in a piece of music.