In the classroom the students created protest chants that were being studied in social studies. The students liked creating something about something that was unfair and writing rhymes and then making them musical. The students made connections with past history for example a student wrote "today I noticed how hard it was for the colonists to get what they wanted". This student understood how hard it can be when they want something themselves through the process of writing these protests chants.
Also, what worked was when the students created lyrics for their original song in the plena style. Also, a mini workshop in the class when Jamie had two plena professional musicians come in and talk about their instrument and play together with Ms. Jamie.
What did not work?
Students got carried away with the rhyming in the classroom and began to become nonsensical - students forgot their thesis statements when they were writing. It is difficult to move the students along when they need to write or create their songs. Students are accustomed to taking their time and time is of the essence in the music class.
What questions do you still have?
How can we teach the students to fit their lyrics with the beats of the songs? Students needed more help with breaking up syllables then we expected.
What new ideas do you have?
Introduce more latino rhythms/styles to the students -- so that the students are exposed to more rhythms and instruments.