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.


Second Grade - Music - Lesson 9 - Songs


Learn two American songs.

Begin to hear the difference between melodies in major and minor modes.

This Land Is Your Land - words and music by Woody Guthrie (1912-1967)

Guthrie's family were pioneers in Oklahoma when it was still relatively unsettled and still known as "Indian territory." Both of his parents were very musical, playing guitar and banjo and singing ballads. In addition to all the music that went on in his own family, Guthrie heard both Native American and African American songs growing up. The hard times of the 20s and 30s caused him to be an itinerant worker during most of that time and gave him a great appreciation for the hardships of many different kinds of people in the United States. The many songs he wrote and sang finally came to the attention of many people when we began to have a folk song revival in this country in the early 60s. He was a great influence on the songwriters of that period.


Tell the children some information about Guthrie's life. If you have a recording of him singing some of his own songs, play it for them so they can hear his special style.

When you teach the words and music of this Woody Guthrie song, be sure and tie it in with the immigration studies the children have been doing in American Civilization this month.


This land is your land, This land is my land,

from California to the New York island

From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters;

This land was made for you and me.

Verse 1.

As I was walking That ribbon of highway

I saw above me that endless skyway

I saw below me that golden valley;

This land was made for you and me.

Verse 2.

I've roamed and rambled and I followed by footsteps

to the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts

And all around me a voice was sounding;

This land was made for you and me.

Verse 3.

When the sun comes shining and I was strolling

and the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling

As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting;

This land was made for you and me.


Second Grade - Music - Lesson 9 - Songs

Wayfaring Stranger

This song seemed to spring up shortly after the Revolutionary War, and then spread all through the Southern mountains. Apparently it was sung by both blacks and whites at camp meetings and revivals, and appears in the old shape-note hymn books of the period.



When you teach the song, see whether the children can hear that the sense of sadness is partially brought about by the sound of the "minor key" it is written in. They do not have to know technically what this means yet, but you could sing a few songs based on major keys and then sing this one again so that they hear the plaintive quality of melodies written in minor keys.

Have them repeat the song four times, using father, mother, sister, and brother.

I am a poor wayfaring stranger,

A-trav'ling through this world of woe;

Yet there's no sickness, toil or danger

In that bright world to which I go.

I'm going home to see my father (mother, sister, brother)

I'm going there no more to roam,

I'm just a'going over Jordan,

I'm just a going over home.


Second Grade - Music - Lesson 10 - Percussion and Brass


Learn what characterizes brass instruments and percussion instruments.

Listen to a piece of classical music written to make use of native Mexican percussion instruments.

Listen to a piece of classical music featuring brass instruments.

Learn to identify the characteristic sound of a fanfare and understand its function in earlier times.


Recording of Carlos Chavez's Toccata for Percussion Instruments (12-15 min.)

Recording of Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man (3 - 4 min.)

Pictures of instruments from brass and percussion families

If at all possible, examples of brass and percussion instruments; even toy xylophones and/or toy drums would be better than no live instruments at all

Background for Chavez

Carlos Chavez was a Mexican composer, who was born in1899 in Mexico City and died in 1978. He was the son of a Mexican father and an Indian mother. He studied music in Europe as a young man.In the 1920s he began traveling throughout Mexico to collect Indian folk melodies and instruments, which he began using extensively in his compositions. Today he is still probably the best known Mexican composer of classical music and certainly did more than anyone of his time to introduce Mexican musical arts internationally. Chavez is also one of the first and earliest composers to advocate folk-based classical music in the Western Hemisphere. You may need to borrow a recording of the Chavez piece from the library, because there are only two CD versions currently listed in the Schwann catalog. There are quite a few LP recordings that were made earlier and may well be available at the library. The piece is important and a wonderful one for its use of percussion and for its use of authentic Mexican Indian instruments.


Procedure for Chavez Toccata For Percussion Instruments

Begin by showing the children pictures of percussion instruments and making sure they know that all percussion instruments produce their characteristic sounds by being struck. (See three suggested books below.) You may want to review material they have already learned earlier this year about the four families of instruments. If you have any drums or even toy xylophones available, demonstrate the instruments for the children. Actually, of all the families of instruments, children probably are most familiar with percussion instruments, but they may not know that in an orchestra, each percussionist will usually play several different percussion instruments in a piece.

Tell the children about Chavez's life from the account above and tell them the name of the piece they will hear is Toccata for Percussion. Ask whether anyone has ever heard the word Toccata before. If no one has, tell them a famous German composer named Johann Sebastian Bach (whose Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring the children listen to in First Grade) wrote many, many Toccatas for a solo organ, to be played in church. Say: You can hear how the word toccata is related to the word touch. In the Italian language, which many people think of as the first language for musical terms, the word for touch is tocare, so you can hear the Italian word is even closer. Bach named his organ pieces Toccatas, because the organist would have to move swiftly BCP DRAFT MUS 26

Second Grade - Music - Lesson 10 - Percussion and Brass

up and down several keyboards with his hands and one with his feet to play these complicated pieces.

Say: Chavez's Toccata was written only for percussion instruments, but many of them. In fact, Chavez wrote the piece for six percussion players, each one playing several different

instruments at different times during the piece.

You may want to write on the chalkboard what instruments each percussionist is responsible for and describe each instrument to the children as you go, both as to the way it looks (using pictures) and the way it sounds. The list would be as follows:

PERCUSSION I: Indian Drum, Glockenspiel, Small Indian Drum

PERCUSSION II: Side Drum I, Xylophone, Indian Drum, Tenor Drum

PERCUSSION III: Side Drum II, Suspended Cymbal

PERCUSSION IV: Tenor Drum, Chimes, Claves One, Maracas, Suspended Cymbal

PERCUSSION V: Tympani, Small Gong

PERCUSSION VI: Bass Drum, Large Gong

Tell the children the piece is in three short movements, or sections, and you will tell them by holding up your fingers when each one starts. Say: The first movement is really like a series of questions and answers between the deep tympani and a side drum. See whether you don't think it sounds like they are talking to each other.

Say: The second movement is very slow and quiet, almost like steady raindrops falling. You'll hear cymbals being struck and a large gong being sounded. You'll hear chimes and other drums.

Say: You'll be able to tell when the third movement opens, because you'll hear a big tympani solo, and the music goes much faster than in the second movement. You'll hear more and more instruments being added, with more and more different rhythms--Indian drums and claves especially.

When you play the piece for the children, don't forget to indicate as each movement begins, and try to point to the names of the instruments on the board as you hear them, and/or show their pictures to the children. If you have a chance to play the piece for the children at other times during the year, gradually they will be able to recognize the different percussion instruments as well, and they might want to take turns pointing to the instruments on the board, or you might even let them call out the names as they hear them, just to get them into participation with the music.

Recordings for the Copland Fanfare

There are currently dozens of recordings available on CD and tape of the Copland piece, and many of them include other pieces the children would enjoy. For instrance:

Michael Feldman's Whad 'Ya Know About Copland (Nimbus 4002)

Bernstein conducts Copland on a Sony CD that also includes the ballets Appalachian Spring, Rodeo (which includes "Hoe-Down"), and Billy the Kid in addition to the Fanfare.That CD is SMK 47544.


Second Grade - Music - Lesson 10 - Percussion and Brass

Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra do basically the same pieces, plus El Salon Mexico, which the children would also enjoy, on RCA Victor 68020.

Procedure for Copland Piece

Tell the children that Aaron Copland was an American composer who died recently and lived a long life, for nearly all of the twentieth century. Say: He lived from 1900 to the year 1990. How many years is that?

Say: Copland wrote many pieces for the ballet, and you clapped and used your own feet to the "Hoe-Down" from his ballet Rodeo. (See Extra Listening Lesson for December.) The short piece you will hear today is not written for ballet. Copland wrote the piece during World War II, and he wanted to honor all the heroes of war. He calls the piece Fanfare for the Common Man.

Ask: Can anyone tell me something about a fanfare? (loud, brass instruments, accept any reasonable answers) Usually, when we think back to other times, long ago and in other countries where there were kings and queens, there were men who played horns that were very beautiful to look at, shiny and long or shiny with many tubes and curves (show some pictures). These horn players would be dressed in bright costumes, and their job would be to play a fanfare in order to announce the arrival of the king, the queen, the important visitors who came and went, or perhaps the beginning of a royal feast or other important event. (If you can sing or imitate the sound of a typical fanfare, by all means do it.)

Say: Aaron Copland wanted to write a fanfare that would be not for kings and queens, or other privileged people, but would honor what Americans call the common man, which means all the men and women who served their country by doing their best during a war. Still, he wanted the piece to sound like the very noble fanfares that used to be played for very special people. So, he decided to write the fanfare for just brass instruments and percussion.

Write on the chalkboard the instruments that are in the Copland Fanfare for the Common Man:

4 French horns

3 trumpets

3 trombones

1 tuba


Review with the children some information about the brass family, using the books below and/or pictures you have collected. You may want to talk about the different shapes of the mouthpieces on the brass instruments, the different amounts and shapes of brass tubing, and how that affects the sound of each instrument.

Finally, tell the children to close their eyes as they listen to the very short piece and hear how very dramatic the piece is. When they have listened once or twice, see whether they could describe in words what happens. It would be something like: Percussion ruffle starts, then the fanfare itself in the trumpets, through the horns, then the trombones reinforced by the tuba as it gets bigger and bigger, and then the percussion answers. Finally, the whole group plays the fanfare together until you know it can't get any grander or go any farther, and it ends.


Second Grade - Lesson 10 - Brass and Percussion

Recommended Books

Ardley, Neil. Music. Eyewitness Books. New York: Knopf, 1989.

This series is always good, but this book has the very best coverage of the workings of wind instruments of any of the new books for children about instruments. The section on

strings is also outstanding; percussion, not quite as good.

Barber, Nicola and Mary Mure. The World of Music. Parsippany, NJ: Silver Burdett Press, 1995.

Not very good for brass instruments, but excellent for showing and describing a whole range of percussion instruments, including several different families of drums.

Hart, Avery and Paul Mantell. Kids Make Music! Charlotte, VT: Williamson, 1993.

This has good pictures of the four different kinds of horns heard in the Copland Fanfare.

See p. 96 for the pictures and descriptions of the sounds they make.