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Language Arts with Music: Russia/Europe

Produced by Carola Dunham, Pocoima Middle School, 1997

Day I: Peter and the Wolf

  • Students will listen to the tape of Peter and the Wolf. Teacher will then read story to class. Students will then be asked to re-listen to the music, shouting out the character it is representing.
  • Students will then break into groups, pick a character to illustrate on a poster along with that character's instrument. Students will write a brief paragraph about the instrument used and their opinion as to why the composer chose that instrument.
  • Homework: Find out what instruments are played by family members in their cultural backgrounds. Make a Venn diagram of their instruments and Peter and the Wolf.

Day II: Ukraine:

"Into" using music. Students will listen to music by Mussorgsky: "The Fair at Sorochinsk (opera) Hopak.
As a whole group, students will be asked questions to prompt thoughts concerning music. These will be charted for reference.

  1. What country do you think this music is from? Why?
  2. What time period is the music reflecting?
  3. What experiences are being reflected?
  4. What kind of culture would produce it?
  5. What mood does the piece communicate?
  6. Who wrote it?
  7. For whom or what event was it written?
  8. Do you like the piece?

Teacher will correct the information from chart to a matrix chart, informing the students that they will be doing the same thing for four more countries, as a class. Introduce next music piece to the class.

  • Poland: Students will listen to music by Glinka: A Life for the Tsar (opera) Krakowiak, Mazurka. Discuss and chart per questions (see Ukraine), correcting onto matrix. Introduce next music piece.
  • Hungary: Students will listen to music by Mussorgsky: "The Fair at Sorochinsk (opera) Hopak. Discuss and chart per questions (see Ukraine), correcting onto matrix. Introduce next music piece.
  • Czech Republic: Students will listen to music by Mussorgsky: "The Fair at Sorochinsk (opera) Hopak. Chart per questions (see Ukraine), correct onto matrix. Introduce next music piece.
  • France: Students will listen to music by Mussorgsky: "The Fair at Sorochinsk (opera) Hopak. Discuss and chart per questions (see Ukraine), correcting onto matrix. Introduce next music piece.

Have students vote on what pieces they liked the best. Have students break into five groups, each choosing a country.

Homework: Students are to find a book about the country they have chosen. Books can be about music, art, history, food, anything concerning the country, past or present. Bring to class on fourth day.

Day III: Websites: Students will be given handouts; maps and information for their country found on the website, and a few websites specific for their country.

  • Students will go to computer room to gather more website information concerning their country. Using their specific country as a goal, students will learn basic website information to browse, search, locate, create fists, save, recognize a website number, and print out information.
  • Homework: Students given physical and e-mail addresses of the consulates of all five countries. Students are to write, e-mail, or call to acquire more information concerning their country. Bring rough draft to class to edit in groups and give to teacher for final edit. Bring in books found on country (Tuesday's HW).

Day IV: KWLH and the Library: In each cooperative group, students will chart what they know about their country and what they want to know about their country. From this brainstorming, the class as a whole will create a matrix for research. Students will be given a tour of the library concerning reference materials and their locations pertaining to their countries. Breaking into five groups, students will be given a blank map of their country to fill out with their matrix to help them organize their information gathering process.

Homework: Students given map of Russia and Eastern Europe. Students begin to color in countries, labeling capital cities, major land formations, lakes, and rivers. Due on Monday.

Day V: Class time to work in cooperative groups on map and matrix. Create a poster or cartoon relating the composer of their country with the mood of the piece. Have a caption!

  • Students to write a script (can be news reporting, interview with music composer, etc.) using map and matrix and any other visuals. The presentation will be to the entire class and must speak to the map information, the matrix information, and the composers piece.
  • Homework: Finish map of Eastern Europe and Russia. Bring to class. Prepare for presentation on Monday.
  • Extra Credit: 1. Write a name poem using their composer or country. 2. Find news stories about your country and write a synopsis. 3. Find a pen-pal of your country to write to.

Day VI: Same as Day 5. Groups who are ready will give their presentations first by volunteering. All presentations graded by teacher and students using presentation rubric.

As whole group, students will chart rights that citizens living in America have because of our government. Students will then go into their groups to create a Venn diagram, referring to class chart, to compare and contrast the rights that citizens have in the countries they studied.

Homework: In paragraph form, write an expository text comparing and contrasting the rights of citizens in their country they researched with citizens in America, using group generated Venn diagram from class.

Day VII: KWLH. As groups, students fill in what they learned and then how they learned it. Discuss as a class the different ways to find information.

List the different ways and have groups vote by consensus the three most favorite ways individuals in their group prefer to discover information.

Homework: Watch the news or read the paper looking for stories or articles about Croatia or Serbia. Bring to class. (Teacher will provide newspapers for those students who might need them to complete assignment.)

Day VIII: Websites: Students will be given handouts; maps and information for their country found on the website, and a few websites specific for their country.

Students will go to computer room to gather more website information concerning what is happening in the news concerning the Croatians and the Serbs. Using this specific conflict as a goal, students will learn basic website information to browse, search, locate, create lists, save, recognize a website number, and print out information.

Homework: Students given physical and e-mail addresses of the consulates. Also students are to contact a news anchor person, to try to solicit newscast person covering the conflict on location Students can e-mail to acquire more first hand information concerning the conflict. Bring rough draft to class to edit in groups and give to teacher for final edit.

Day IX: Chart as whole group what students already know about the conflict in Sarajevo. Then, students will view Romeo and Juliet in Sarajevo, Frontline PBS. (Teacher will edit to keep students involved). Debrief as a class.

Discuss what aspects of courage, justice, integrity, responsibility each character had. Chart same as character analysis, showing relationship to one another as well.

Discuss and chart: family traditions, religious beliefs, social traditions, and peer associations that they saw in the video clip. Debrief. Leave up charts as a reference.

Homework: Ask a family member if they are familiar with what is happening in Sarajevo. Write notes on what that person knows. Think of and list similar conflicts that may occur at home, at school, or in their neighborhoods.

Day X: Chart from homework, all conflicts that occur at home, at school, and in their neighborhoods. Pick one or two. Model conflict resolution as a class. Break into cooperative groups, choose a conflict and resolve it. Present to class. Discuss as a class what conflict resolution skiffs they think are needed to help resolve the conflict in Sarajevo.

Homework: Write a paragraph concerning their feelings towards the couple in the video.

If they had power over Sarajevo, what would they do to help stop the fighting and bring the groups back to their once peaceful acceptance of each other so they can linve in harmony once again?

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