Can You Hear The Music?

By DesignInAction, February 27, 2017

Grade Level

  • Elementary School


  • Summer Design Institute

Subject Area

  • Arts
  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Technology

Lesson Time

Six fifty-minute class periods


At the beginning of each school year, students are nervous and anxious about everything about school. They have to learn to be Responsible, Respectful and Kind while interacting with so many different individuals, for some of them in a brand new place. Students also come from different cultural backgrounds, yet have so much in common. These lessons will introduce students to the design process while integrating other discipline areas. While doing so, students will introduce themselves to each other and learn about each other. Students will discuss and write about themselves. They will use the design process to graph and design realistic representations that combine aspects of who they are.

National Standards

Common Core Learning Standards: ELA: Writing W: 3:2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly. a. Introduce a topic and group related information together; include illustrations when useful to aiding comprehension. b. Develop the topic with facts, definitions, and details. W: 3:5. With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. W:3:6. With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing . W:3:8. Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources. W:3:11. Create and present a narrative, art work, or personal response to a particular theme studied. Social Studies: 3.3a: The culture of a group or individual changes or evolves in response to interaction with other cultures or in response to needs 3.3b :All people have rich cultural heritages and traditions which influence their life and behavior. Culture: Explore and describe similarities and differences in the way individuals, groups, societies and cultures address similar needs and concerns. Recognize the examples of cause and effect in relationships. Identify, explore the use of various sources and resources used in our society to construct and represent images Visual Arts Level II (Grade K-4) Standard 1 Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes related to the visual arts Benchmark 3. Knows how different media (e.g., oil, watercolor, stone, metal), techniques, and processes are used to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories Standard 2. Knows how to use structures (e.g., sensory qualities, organizational principles, expressive features) and functions of art Benchmark 1. Knows the differences among visual characteristics (e.g., color, texture) and purposes of art (e.g., to convey ideas)


Students will; • Be able to appreciate differences among their peers • Research effectively using online tools • Document their findings • Create a timeline of events with the evolution of music technology • Use inference to explain the reason behind the evolution of music • Critique the changes made to music formats and create a format that will be accessible to all people


Pictures: • Pictures of different music formats (can be displayed on the smartboard or photocopies) Internet Articles: • A Brief History of Audio Formats ( • The Art of Noise: How music recordings changed over the decades ( • History of Music Players ( • Ten Years Old: The Worlds First MP3 player ( Internet Video’s: • A Brief History of Audio Recording ( • History of Recording Sound ( • First Sound Ever Recorded (1860) ( • A History of Sound Recording Final (


8 ½” x 11” white paper and colored paper, paper toilet rolls Pencils, pens, markers, colored pencils, pastels, colored chalk, stickers Letters, stamp pads Fabric, gift-wrapping paper, Scissors, tape, glue and glue guns Ribbon, yarn, pipe cleaners Pictures, magazines, real objects other art supplies depending on the students' access


Phonograph, Radio, 8-track, Cassette Tape, Compact Disc, Digital Audio Tape, Minidisc, MP3, AAC, Evolution, Development, Audio


As students walk into class have music playing as students settle in. The teacher will introduce the students to a picture of the phonograph and ask them to explore what they think it might be in groups using evidence from the picture. Allow student to share their ideas to the group. Explain what it is and proceed to show students pictures of other past tools for recording music. Allow them to explore the picture though open discussions and turn and talk. First session: The teacher should set the mood of the lesson by having some music in the background as the students walk in. Teacher can ask the children what they play music from in their homes. Teacher can call on a few students to share their ideas and ask if others agree if they also have the same music formats at home. Teacher can make a chart of the different formats that are used. After the introduction to the lesson the teacher will display pictures and real samples of some old music formats (phonograph, cassette tape etc.) Have students explore what they think about these formats Discuss their ideas in groups, then share out. Children are assigned to research with their families some old music formats they have used in their own cultures as a homework assignment. Next session: the students can share out their findings, they are encouraged to bring pictures or actual music formats if they can. After the students share out, display pictures and samples of more modern forms of music formats (different forms of MP3’s, CD’s) have students to share what they are and how they are used. Have students discuss why they believe the changes were made to the formats; chart responses. Display pictures of modern equipment that are used to help all people live least restricted lifestyles (things to include, hearing aides, seeing eye dogs, brail, blinking red crosswalk hand) Have children work in groups to design a new music format that is designed to meet the needs of all people, including people with disability. Why has music formats changed to what they are now? Keeping in mind some ways that we observed some things changed to help all people be least restricted, what ways are these new music formats not geared to incorporate everybody?


Students will give oral and written feedback about each other’s design.

Enrichment Extension Activities

Students will share their designs in an appropriate setting such as the school library, multi-purpose area, hallways or cafeteria. Students school-wide will vote for the designs they feel will be most effective in supporting a least restricted environment. The students with the winning designs will present their design and reason behind their design to the student body. Parents and community members will be invited to view the designs

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