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General Music - Grade 6 Curriculum - Will This Idea Work?

I just found out that I will be teaching a general music class for Grade 6 along with directing the 7th and 8th grade choirs.  They 6th graders will roatate in every 9 weekly.  I'm assuming that for many of these kids this will be the last time they ever take a general music class, ever.  I want them to understand that music goes accross the curriculum and be able to defend music education if the chance ever arises in their lifetime.  Here is what I am thinking about doing each 9 week rotation.

Week 1 - Introduction of the Course/Getting to know the students/Ice Breakers
Week 2 - Science - Teaching that the Voice is an Instrument - Emphasis on Singing
Week 3 and 4 - Math - Teaching Rhythm - Incorporate Bucket Drumming/Singing/Boomwhackers
Week 5 and 6 - Social Studies - Discussing Music in History/Different Musical Periods/Etc.  - Incorporate Singing
Week 7  - English - Discuss Poems/Lyrics and Melody Writing (If possible) - Incorpoarate Singing/Boomwhackers
Week 8 - View "Music of the Heart" video and bring everything that has been taught/discussed during the 8 weeks back in.
Week 9 - Assessment - Tests/Games/Recordings of the Students/One Page Paper on the Importance of Music Education in our schools.  (Could the paper be to difficult for 6th graders to complete?)
 
What do you all think about this idea?  What other ideas could I use for the 9 week grading period?  I am open to suggestions!!  I would love to be able to use this class to help build my choral program the next school year.  Thanks for your help with this!
on August 5, 2014 5:07am
Bradley this sounds like a great program!  The only other thing that I would do if you feel you have time is add some kind of research project for them.  When I am teaching my 6th graders the social studies aspect, I have them choose a composer from history, and research them and their time period.  I give them an outline for their research and set them up at computers, and then we schedule presentation time for each.  That may not fit for you with just your nine weeks, but it provides some individual work and a more in-depth view of the history.
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on August 5, 2014 6:46am
Good plan. Your week 7 could be similar to a ballad unit I do with fifth graders. We use a familiar tune (one from 3rd or 4th grade music books - they vote to choose one) We outline a story to tell, write a refrain together, and then they have small groups to write the verses. Verse numbers are put on the board, and the group that can organize itself first gets to choose its verse first, etc. When groups are done writing, we 'clean everything up' together. We perform our ballads for our Spring concert. It's such a good way to bring home meter and rhyme scheme. Not to mention the pride our students feel when they premiere their compositions for the public. You might also want to perform their song and record for youtube, vimeo or your own school's web page. (I do that with my 4th graders 'Wisconsin Song' that we write together in class - in that case, we are working as a big team with me in charge. It is a good step before letting them work on their own in small groupsl)
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on August 5, 2014 8:33am
I would include ART in week 1 intro and include parallel elements: line, color, texture, etc
 
For social studies connection I used a wonderful time line that for each major musical period  also included inventors,political events along with artists and composers.  It was simple, one page, just words, names, dates, phrases. 
 
Looks like a wonderful plan!!
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on August 5, 2014 12:16pm
If time permits, students should gain some awareness of world music and the similarities and differences between cultures.  For example: the same elements (melody, rhythm, harmony, timbre, dynamics, form) are used in different ways; same instrument families and acoustical properties used differently; migration and changes in instruments like the craze in Europe for Turkish and other middle eastern instruments like cymbals, oboes, kettledrums; also the dissemination of ukuleles, banjos, guitars, fiddles, drums, xylophones around the world;  same functions of music (celebration, religion, funerals, birth, warfare, love, natural world, etc); diversity of singing styles solo and choral; etc.
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on August 12, 2014 12:58pm
At the beginning of each nine-weeks, I have my Junior High students research and write a one page report on an instrument, favorite musician, composer......, then I begin class each day by reading one of the reports, then sharing a youtube demonstration.  Works for me.  I also incorporate several dance days with the gym class to emphasize movement and music and hopefully make the Junior High Dances a little more interesting. :0
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on August 12, 2014 3:45pm
   Joyce's time line is a great idea.  I don't have a commercial version, but make my own as each year proceeds.  I mounted century dates from 1100-2000 above the whiteboards on the long wall of my room, one century every four feet.  These are simply black cut out numerals glued on half sheets of light gray construction paper, which are then stuck on the wall with a loop of scotch tape on the back.  Someday I'll put up a narrow cork board--about 12" high-- and switch to push pins.  On the left side wall, I continued backwards from 1100 to 900, 700, 500, etc, two centuries every four feet.  At the year 0 is a picture of Jesus, and founders of other major religions are in their appropriate places.  For each new song, I put up a yellow title card and a picture or symbol of something related.  For the Star Spangled Banner, there's a full page photo of the original flag being restored at the Smithsonian and the words "War of 1812."  At 1666, there's a construction paper flame representing The Great Fire of London and the round "London's Burning".  Immediately to the left of 1500 on the time line is Nancy Schimmel's wonderfully blunt and humorous song "1492", and immediately to the right of 1500 are the words "First Slaves".  A photo of Woody Guthrie, a few of his songs, and a Dust Bowl  photo by Dorothea Lange hang in the 1930s, flanked by the abbreviations "WW1" and "WW2."  When we listen to a piece of composed music or watch a video, the composer's picture is added. 
   I try to refer to the timeline at least once each day in each class, whether we put a new song up or not.  My hope is that this will, over time, help students remember the sequence of events in history, and where our songs fit in.  I lke to rebuild the time line during each school year because I think it catches students' attention more than if I just point to something that's already there.  I also refer frequently to our roll-down maps of the world and the USA, and also have students draw maps one or twice a month on the backside of their personal music staff whiteboards. 
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