Bringing a Children’s Book To life

Invite your students to create a presentation based on a book and its accompanying music to share with an audience. By empowering students in this decision-making process, they will take initiative, gain independence, and confidence as a young musicians.

Many elementary general music teachers structure music lessons around children’s literature to introduce and/or reinforce musical skills. Students sing a song to accompany the story, add a bordun, and possibly incorporate a few other patterns using barred instruments or unpitched percussion instruments. This is a great way to practice a new rhythm, isolate a solfege pattern, or develop aural skills by layering multiple patterns. 

You can extend this experience by having students create a presentation based on the book and its accompanying music to share their learning with an audience. By engaging students in the decision-making process, they can take initiative, gaining independence and confidence as musicians. The audience provides an even stronger purpose for the learning, as students will often work a little harder when they know it’s a performance. 

Suggestions for Music Classes

Here’s a planning template to guide you and your students through the book presentation process. First, determine how much time you would like to spend on this project. Depending on the book and class length, it could take 4-8 class periods. Then, make any necessary changes to the template to meet the needs of your students. Every class is different, so we would never assume that one size would fit all. Finally, introduce the project to your students and get ready to have some fun! Follow the steps so students can plan, prepare, and share their presentation. 

Need more ideas about using children’s literature in music classes? Check out this great book by Abigail Blair and Kathryn Finch,  Everyone Loves a Story: Bringing Books to Life Through Music. A local or online Orff chapter will also have suggestions to try.

Find more ideas and resources for empowering your music students – check out Pass the Baton today!