ALEX Learning Activity


Retell a Familiar Story Using Elements of Music

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

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  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Casaundra Taylor
System:Huntsville City
School:Academy For Academics & Arts
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 2016
Retell a Familiar Story Using Elements of Music
Digital Tool/Resource:
Web Address – URL:
Not Applicable

Students will use elements of music such as tempo, dynamics, and vocal exploration to retell a familiar story, including key details. The students will use music to show expression of the characters in the story. 

This activity was created as a result of the Arts COS Resource Development Summit.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: K
2 ) With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details. [RL.K.2]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.K.2- With prompting and support, identify details about a story.

Arts Education
ARTS (2017)
Grade: K
Music: General
9) Demonstrate awareness of expressive qualities that support the creators' expressive intent.

Example: Interpret a story through vocal exploration, dynamics, and tempo.

Unpacked Content
Artistic Process: Performing
Anchor Standards:
Anchor Standard 4: Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.
Process Components: Interpret
Essential Questions:
EU: Performers make interpretive decisions based on their understanding of context and expressive intent
EQ: How do performers interpret musical works?
Concepts & Vocabulary:
  • Steady beat
  • Long/ Short
  • One and two sounds per beat
  • Silent beat
  • High and low
  • Pitch set: So, Mi
  • Musical alphabet
  • Accompaniment/ no accompaniment
  • Like and unlike phrases
  • Echo
  • Speak, sing, shout, whisper
  • Solo/ Group
  • Unpitched percussion
  • Flute, trumpet, violin, piano
  • Loud/ Soft
  • Fast/ Slow
  • Age-appropriate audience and performer etiquette
Skill Examples:
  • Demonstrate same and different (e.g., fast/slow, loud/soft, high/low and long/short).
  • Demonstrate a steady beat and maintain it while performing.
  • Sing using head voice and appropriate posture.
  • Play a variety of classroom instruments, alone and with others, and demonstrate proper technique.
  • Create a wide variety of vocal and instrumental sounds.
Reading/ Writing
  • Explore connections between sound and its visual representation.
Responding/ Evaluating
  • Move to music of various and contrasting styles, composers and cultures.
  • Demonstrate audience behavior appropriate for the context and style of music performed.
Learning Objectives:

The students will retell familiar stories using expressive qualities found in music.

  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

  1. Students will retell a familiar story that they have previously studied using expressive movement and body percussion. Examples of body percussion are: stomping, patting thighs with hands, clapping, and snapping. 
  2. Students will rehearse in small groups to retell the story with movement before performing.
  3. The teacher will observe the students rehearsing and will ask the students if they have thought about the expressive intent of the characters. What is the voice quality of their characters, what about the tempo and dynamics of their movement to retell the story?
  4. The teacher will make anecdotal notes of students using create expressive movement and retell of the story as assessment when the groups of students perform for the class.
Assessment Strategies:

Advanced Preparation:

You will need to pick a story the students are familiar with and have read at least 3 times prior to this lesson. 

Variation Tips (optional):
Notes or Recommendations (optional):
  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: