This a multiple day unit (though the lessons for each day do not have to be exclusively focused on this).

6th Grade General Music

Dance, Imitation, Rhythmic Reading, Improvisation, Composition, Performing

National Standards
Improvise, Compose/Arr., Read/Notate, Listen, Evaluate, Related Arts

Warm-ups: The students will receive an introduction of STOMP watching a clip from the Broadway musical of the same name
Imitation: The students will become acclimated with the movements through call and response of 4-beat rhythms from teacher to students.
Rhythmic Reading: The students will read each 4-beat rhythm on the board and perform them with 75% accuracy the 1st time and 100% accuracy the 2nd time.
Improvisation: The students will perform a call and response with each student creating a 4-beat rhythm on the spot, with the rest of the class imitating it.
Composition: The students, in groups of 2 and 3, will compose an 8-measure piece in the STOMP genre with EACH student writing down the rhythms.
Performing: The groups will perform their personal STOMP composition for the rest of the class as a 'Talent Show' setting. 80% accuracy of the rhythms that have been written on each student's papers is expected.

Marker and marker board, TV, DVD player, STOMP The Musical DVD, paper

-Watch a 5 minute excerpt from STOMP The Musical
-When finished have the students spread out

-Without speaking, start snapping until all the students join in.
-Call and response with very simple 4-beat rhythms using claps, slaps, snaps, stomps, pats, etc.
-Gradually increase the difficulty of the 4-beat rhythms
-Combine two 4-beat rhythms together for an 8-beat rhythm

-With four 4-beat rhythms up on the board, have the students identify what each note is.
-Have them perform each rhythm separately, while assessing their knowledge of note reading
-Snap for 4 beats and point to a rhythm for them to do for 4 beats, snap, then point to another, etc.
-Get in a big circle and do a call and response again, repeating each 4-beat rhythm twice
-Go around the room and have each student create their own 4-beat rhythm on the spot, incorporating any sound they would like
-Once all the way around, go through everyone again as one big piece

-Split into groups of 2 or 3 and have them compose an 8-measure piece and each write down the rhythms created on paper
-This ensure assessment in small groups that each student can compose and write down correct rhythms
-Each group performs their composition for the rest of the class

-Engage the students without non-verbally to engage them immediately
-Use constant encouragement to build confidence in the students when they are improvising and composing
-Keep the momentum of the lesson moving along and keep transitions quick
-Keep the it exciting and engaging for the students by keeping my energy high, yet controlled

Jason Frew

Micah Hesterman

I think this is a very well-planned lesson with detailed steps, clear skills, and everything else. I would like to see some clearer assessment strategies, though. "Perform with accuracy" - how accurate do they have to be? How do you know they will be acclimated? Can they read written notes/rhythms and write them as well (when you're in groups, it doesn't mean everyone is writing down the rhythm)? Are there sub-objectives for the composition? What are performance guidelines/what does the rest of class do when a group is performing? Also, is this intended as a 1-day lesson or spread out over several days? It seems that this might take a little while longer with all the parts. However, as it is 6th graders, you may try to do this unit in one class period to challenge them.

In the first paragraph, and maybe throughout, it might be an easier read to say 'rhythmic reading' instead of rhythm reading or rhythms reading. Everything else seems to line up nicely: there is a nice format to this and the order is very clear. Intertwine more of your assessment methods with the sequence and make sure it is delineated how the assessment is going to work/what you're looking for. Just a few things, but other than that, I think this would be a great lesson that would keep them engaged and busy the entire period.


Ben Reimer

This lesson is very well thought out, paced, and has a good amount of assessment that isn't intrusive. It will keep the students active and the lack of down time for the students should provide for an effective classroom management strategy.

I have a few questions involving the lesson. I know you've talked about assessment with this plan previously, and also that you've amended it with percentages for the expectations. My question arises with what merits each score. Will it simply be a perform the rhythm correctly, but maybe not using the right instruments or actions? Is the focus more on the correct performance of the rhythm or the instrument. I ask this because you are asking them to use a lot of body percussion, which is great but might be too much for students who might have physical exceptionalities. Some students can't clap, some have trouble keeping a beat patting their legs; this isn't a flaw in the lesson plan so much as a heads up for possible challenges.

Also, I have a question when it comes to showing the STOMP movie and the student's creations later on. The students will see the performers with trash can lids and sticks other forms of instruments and will want to imitate those performers. Will there be percussive options for the students? Also, when it comes to the student's compositions later in the period, are you requiring the students to use different rhythms in each measure or can they use the same quarter note rhythm for eight measures. Do you want them to explore different rhythms or are you focused on them switching between different (body) percussive instruments? This harkens back to the previous paragraph: it is a question of what you are focusing on. Is it the rhythms themselves that you wish to focus on with the students or the performance aspect of each "instrument"?

This being said, your lesson is great. It would work well in most any classroom without much hesitation. My questions or more of the philosophy of the lesson, more on what you want the students to get out of it so that you know what to build on for the next lesson. Good luck and have fun using this lesson.