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 1

Background Information for the Teacher

You will find that music is incorporated into many of our Core Knowledge lessons, even though it may not be formally called Music. For example, the students may learn appropriate songs in the American Civilization section. We have planned only two formal music lessons per month and hope that you will place them in a way that is useful for your own individual schedule. For these music lessons, we follow the guidelines outlined in the Core Knowledge Scope and Sequence for Second Grade, acknowledging at the same time that they are ambitious. The guidelines and overall objectives for children in Second Grade are:

I. Expression (Guidelines for Elements of music and musical understanding and expression)

A. Recognize a steady beat, accents, and the downbeat; playing a steady beat

B. Move responsively to music

C. Recognize short and long sounds

D. Discriminate between fast and slow; gradually slowing down and getting faster

E. Discriminate between differences in pitch: high and low

F. Discriminate between loud and soft; gradually increasing and decreasing volume

G. Understand that melody can move up and down

H. Hum the melody while listening to music

I. Echo short rhythms and melodic patterns

J. Play simple rhythms and melodies

K. Recognize like and unlike phrases

L. Recognize timbre (tone color)

M. Sing unaccompanied, accompanied, and in unison

N. Recognize verse and refrain

O. Recognize that musical notes have names

P. Recognize a scale as a series of notes

Q. Sing the C major scale using "do re me" etc.

R. Understand the following notation: names of lines and spaces in the treble clef, treble clef sign, staff sign, bar line, double bar line, measure, repeat signs, quarter note, paired eighth notes, quarter rest, soft sign and loud sign

For Music Appreciation, we hope that you will often play music for the children, using a tape player, CD or record player, whatever is available to you. Don't forget that the Enoch Pratt libraries have good collections of recorded music, and the librarians are eager to see teachers use their resources. Since the students in Second Grade will be learning about weather and the seasons in Science, one opportunity for music might be to play some of the many good recordings of sounds in nature (From the Rain Forest, Thunderstorm, Ocean Surf, The Pond, Mountain Stream). These could be played at the very beginning of the day as the children are finding their seats and can help to quiet and center them. A few detailed and formal music lessons for music appreciation will be included and will center around particular pieces of classical music which we will identify by name and are readily available in many different performances. Throughout Second Grade, the students will be learning about the families of instruments of the orchestra, and there are many inexpensive, paperback books, also available at BCP DRAFT MUS 2

Second Grade - Music - Lesson 1

libraries, that the children can look at as they hear the sounds that particular instruments make. Below are some recommended titles.

Suggested Books about Instruments of the Orchestra

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

Doney, Meryl. Musical Instruments. NY: Franklin Watts, 1995.

Hausherr, Rosmarie. What Instrument is This? NY: Scholastic, 1992.

Jeunesse, Gallimard and Claude Delafosse. Musical Instruments. NY: Scholastic, 1994.

Taylor, Barbara. Sound and Music. NY: Franklin Watts, 1991.

These books are all inexpensive, available in paperback, and useful in the classroom primarily for the pictures that illustrate various instruments and families of instruments.

Suggested Audio and Video Materials

The Classical Kids Collection. BMG #84207 (4 titles below also available individually)

Mr. Bach Comes to Call

Beethoven Lives Upstairs

Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery

Mozart's Magic Fantasy

Daydreams and Lullabies

Hallelujah Handel #84263 (CD)

Tchaikovsky Discovers America #8420 (CD), #84227 (cassette tape)

All of these titles are excellent for engaging children in an appreciation of classical music. They are audio only, so they force children to listen and use their imaginations. They each include a story line involving a youngster as well as the composer portrayed by an actor, so there is a combination of musical selections plus spoken word.

Marsalis on Music (four videos with good sound production for the audio)

Listening for Clues SHV 66489

Tackling the Monster SHV 66312

Why Toes Tap SHV 66488

Sousa to Satchmo SHV 66490

The thing that is so special about Winton Marsalis's videos is that they combine high quality classical and jazz selections together. This eliminates the artificial boundary between the two kinds of music that many books and instruction systems maintain. There is also a companion book now available in bookstores called Marsalis on Music (ISBN 0-393-03881-5).

Objectives for Lesson 1

Learn to sing "My Country 'Tis of Thee."

Understand the meaning of the term patriotic song.

Have an exposure to musical notation.


Words to the song "My Country 'Tis of Thee" provided below

Transparency for "My Country 'Tis of Thee," black-line master provided on worksheet


Second Grade - Music - Lesson 1


Tell the children that you will be singing a patriotic song with them today and ask if anyone can guess what makes a song a patriotic song. If no one answers, tell them that patriotic comes from the word patriot, which is what we call a person who acts out of love and loyalty for the country where he or she lives. American patriotic music, poetry, and stories are all written for love of our country. Students may have heard the "Marseillaise," which is the French national anthem and would be described as a French patriotic song. Ask whether anyone knows any American patriotic songs. ("The Star Spangled Banner," which they will learn about in American History in October, "America, the Beautiful," and Woody Guthrie's song "This Land is Your Land" are good examples.)

Write the words to the song on the blackboard and have everyone read them together:

My country, 'tis of thee,

Sweet land of liberty,

Of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died,

Land of the pilgrims' pride,

From every mountainside,

Let freedom ring.

Ask if anyone notices any rhyming words (lines 1 and 2; lines 4, 5, 6; lines 3 and 7) and tell the children that song texts often rhyme, making them poems as well as music. Have them recall from their Poetry lessons that we can find the pattern in rhyming poems by identifying them with letters of the alphabet. The poem for "My Country 'Tis of Thee" would form the pattern AABCCCB. You may want to take the time to discuss the meaning of some of the patriotic words in the text.

Next, teach them to sing the song in three sections (lines 1,2,3; lines 4 and 5, then lines 6 and 7). When they can sing the song together, you could ask if anyone recognizes the 3-beat pattern that organizes the rhythm of the song (First Grade Music Lessons, 1, 2, and 3). If they need reminding, have them clap the 1,2,3 pattern, always accenting the first beat. Continue the steady clapping pattern as you sing the song together.

Finally, when you feel that the children have a good command of the song, tell them that you are going to show them what that song looks like when it is written down. Show them the overhead transparency (see attached sheet). Say: We are all going to sing the song once more, and I will point to each note as we sing it. Use a pointer to point to each note as the children sing it and answer any questions they may have about it. Tell them they will learn much more about the meaning of the particular numbers, notes, and lines in the music as the year goes on.


Second Grade - Music - Lesson 2


Listen to a piece of classical music for enjoyment.

Begin to recognize the sound of stringed instruments.


Record, tape, or CD of "The Four Seasons" by Antonio Vivaldi


Tell the children that they are going to hear a piece of classical music by a composer named Antonio Vivaldi. Spend some time helping them to understand the terms composer and classical music. You could remind them that many of the songs they have learned in kindergarten and first grade like "Go Tell Aunt Rhody," "Blow the Man Down," "London Bridge," "There's a Hole in the Bucket," "Let My People Go," and "Down in the Valley" are what we call folk songs, because no one knows exactly who wrote the words or the music; rather, a person or more likely some people just began singing these songs when they were working or playing together or to celebrate a special event, and pretty soon more and more people knew those songs. Finally someone wrote down the words and also the tunes or melodies so the songs could never be forgotten. Still, no one knows to this day exactly who wrote the songs.

When people talk about classical music, they mean music that was written by a particular person, whom we call the composer. The composer is a little bit like the author of a storybook that someone reads to you. At first, authors begin to hear and see the story inside their imaginations and then they write it down and have it published so all the rest of us can read it and share their stories. In the case of composers, they hear the music first, sometimes with words, sometimes with many many different voices and instruments, and then they write it down so it can be sung and played for our enjoyment. Just the way we have the alphabet and words for writing stories, we also have a way of writing down music that is called notation. Just as people learn to read and write stories, they can also learn to read and write musical notation. And you can also sing and play musical instruments from that notation. Ask if anyone has learned to read music, and, if so, what instrument they play. Also ask if that person could tell the rest of the class something they have learned about musical notation.

Tell the children that they will be learning things about reading music as they go along this year. Say: A composer can tell us in musical notation how fast or slow, how high or low, how loud or soft, and whether the music should be sung or played on instruments.


Tell the children that today they are going to hear some music written by a composer named Antonio Vivaldi who lived in Italy more than three hundred years ago (1678-1741).

(You may want to show them Italy on a map or globe.) For many years he was in charge of teaching music at a school for children who had no parents (orphans), and while he was teaching there, he composed many pieces of music for his music students both to sing and to play instruments. Say: The piece we are going to hear today is called "The Four Seasons." Ask the children what they can tell you about the four seasons (Accept any answer that presents sequence and/or characteristic weather patterns for temperate climate.)


Second Grade - Music - Lesson 2

Play just a minute or so of the piece; stop the music and ask whether this is sung by voices or played by instruments (instruments). Ask if anyone can guess what kinds of instruments are playing (stringed instruments: violins, violas, and celli). Show the children a picture of stringed instruments (below) and tell them that the strings vibrate when the bow is drawn across them and ask why they think some of the stringed instruments are so much larger than others (small make higher sounds; larger make deeper, lower sounds).

Next, tell the children that you will play part of each of the pieces that make up "The Four Seasons" and ask them to tell you again the names of the four seasons (spring, summer, autumn or fall, and winter). Have them get comfortable, either lying on the floor or sitting comfortably with their eyes closed if they wish. The four first movements you will play each take less than five minutes each.

Before playing the first selection, tell the children they might hear music that sounds like bird calls, a murmuring brook, a short thunderstorm, and the birds returning to sing again. Play the first band, or movement, of Spring. Play the piece and allow people to report whether they heard any of the things you spoke about; if not, let them tell you what they did hear.

Before playing the Summer piece, tell the children they may feel how very hot the summer season is in Italy and how lazy it makes people feel. Play the piece and encourage feedback. (birds again, loud and soft; especially cuckoo; trilling birds or insects)

Before playing the Autumn piece, tell them this time you want them to listen and see whether they can hear the difference in the music when just one violin is playing and when many instruments are playing together. After the piece is over ask if anyone thinks they heard that difference and what it sounded like.

Tell them the last piece is Winter and you wonder how they feel about winter (icy, cold, freezing, etc.) Tell them you want to know whether anything in the music reminds them of what it feels like in the winter. Play the piece and allow responses.