Kristin wanted to emphasize literacy in our work as she felt that many of her students were challenged by written expression. We will create a sadness continuum in class using news pictures and creating original artwork of “sad” things; things which might inspire someone to sing the blues. We will then write reflections about real and imagined sad experiences and use them as the basis for a class song with lyrics that fit the traditional 12-bar blues format. The students will have a better understanding of how sadness can be expressed in words, as well as music, as well as having a wider range of vocabulary for discussion of their and others’ unhappy feelings; and, I hope, a deeper sense of compassion as a result.
Kristin is in her 3rd year at Talcott teaching 5th and 6th grade language arts. She is originally from Michigan and attended Michigan State University.
Big Idea: BLUES MUSIC
Inquiry: How “blue” can Blues music be?
Students would be learning about American history in 5th grade — one connection that was made was blues music. The students have analyzed what it means to be “blue” by writing personal essays about what makes them blue. They also created a sadness continuum line of sad adjectives so that they understand that blues music is not always extremely sad, but somewhere between “uh-oh” and tragedy. As a result, the students wrote a blues song that was related to their lives. Later, the students were asked to stage their song.