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Understanding By Design Unit

Title of Unit
Curriculum Area
Developed By

Linking Speech and Music

Music Education
Mr. Mercury

Grade Level
Time Frame

9 Hours

Identify Desired Results (Stage 1)

Content Standards

Critique personal performance, experiment with a variety of solutions, and make appropriate adjustments with guidance from
teachers and peers. (MU.68.C.2.1)
Critique personal composition and/or improvisation, using simple criteria, to generate improvements with guidance from teachers
and/or peers. (MU.68.C.2.3)
Arrange a short musical piece by manipulating melody, form, rhythm, and/or voicing. (MU.68.S.1.3)
Compare performances of a musical work to identify artistic choices made by performers. (MU.68.O.1.1)
Create a composition, manipulating musical elements and exploring the effects of those manipulations. (MU.68.O.2.1)
Describe how the combination of instrumentation and expressive elements in a musical work can convey a specific thought, idea,
mood, and/or image. (MU.68.O.3.1)
Create a composition and/or performance, using visual, kinesthetic, digital, and/or acoustic means to manipulate musical
elements. (MU.68.F.1.1)
Describe how studying music can enhance citizenship, leadership, and global thinking. (MU.68.F.3.1)
Overarching Understanding

Essential Questions
How does music reinforce the
lyrical content of the composition?
Is it done effectively?

Related Misconceptions

Students will know

Students will engage with

What are some of the key aspects to
keep in mind when coming up with
a music to words arrangement?

Phrasing, transition, balance and tempo.

Association of previous knowledge in music to words.

Active listening and rearrangement of a composition.


Students will be given a varying selection of topics to choose from that they would like to create a composition on.
Once the students have chosen their topic they will get into groups of 4-5 students and agree on a poem that they have either found through research or
created themselves that is relevant to the topic.
Based on the poem the students chose to go with their topic, they will either find or compose a song/accompaniment to compliment the poem and its
Students will then apply the song to the poem in a way that compliments the poem without taking focus from the writing itself.
Students should not just "copy and paste" the piece, they should get into their creative side, being it is a music class, and make the song interesting with
harmony and rhythm variations that compliment the poem in taste.
The final project should be rehearsed together and performed prior to presentation day.
Based on their previous performances, each group will choose the arrangement they like the most and will make a more elaborated version of it. (it has
to be different to the one they had already made in the first performance).
The students will get back into their groups and use their instruments to rearrange the composition they liked; they will look at the videos recorded in
class and come up with a new take on their peers performance.
The new performance must be between 1-2 minutes long, the music has to be somehow linked or resemble the lyrics or the verbal message of the
original arrangement, and also in a way quote any of the musical elements used in it.
The students will be given around two hours of class time (on different days e.g. Monday 1/2 hour and Wednesday 1 hour and 1/2) to work on this
The students will be performing on the last hour of Friday on the block schedule,
On the following week the students will give feedback and a brief analysis on the second performance of the arrangement, they will comment how they
differ from one to the other, what similarities exist between them, and what would they make different to make it more effective and what aspects from
the other videos final arrangements they would use on their own arrangement.