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Lesson Planning Form for Accessible Instruction Calvin College Education Program


Mr. Sinclair
4/21/16 Subject/ Topic/ Theme

Spirituals Liberation Texts & Presentations Pt. 2

Grade: High School Choir

I. Objectives
How does this lesson connect to the unit plan? (LESSON 3)
This lesson serves to dig deeper into the content of Spirituals from a lyric/text-based perspective as opposed to a musical or
diction perspective. The larger goal of this lesson in terms of the unit is to get students to understand the heart of the
Spiritual(s) by dissecting the lyrics and analyzing the organization of those lyrics in order to extract the meaning. By
understanding the text in a deeper sense, students will be more apt to perform with expression appropriate to the meaning.
cognitiveR U Ap An E

Learners will be able to:

Identify and articulate (verbally and written) a set of common themes and imageries which run throughout the genre of
Analyze the text of a Spiritual with intent to understand the core meaning of the piece, either implicit or explicit.
Make and justify artistic decisions on a Spiritual by examining the meaning of the piece and responding accordingly.

R, U,
U, An, E
R, U,
An, Ap,



R, Ap, C

Ap, An
U, Ap,
E, C

Common Core standards (or GLCEs if not available in Common Core) addressed:

MU:Pr5.3.E.Ia Develop strategies to address expressive challenges in a varied repertoire of music, and evaluate their success using
feedback from ensemble peers and other sources to refine performances.
MU:Pr4.3.E.8a Demonstrate understanding and application of expressive qualities in a varied repertoire of music through prepared and
improvised performances.
MU:Re8.1.E.8a Identify and support interpretations of the expressive intent and meaning of musical works, citing as evidence the
treatment of the elements of music, contexts, and (when appropriate) the setting of the text.

(Note: Write as many as needed. Indicate taxonomy levels and connections to applicable national or state standards. If an objective applies to particular learners
write the name(s) of the learner(s) to whom it applies.)
*remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, create

II. Before you start

Identify prerequisite
knowledge and skills.

Students must be able to identify repetition within a poetic or prosaic structure.

Students must be somewhat familiar with textual analysis of poetic structures.
Students should be somewhat familiar with the historical tradition of Spirituals and the
context from which they came. (Covered in prior class sessions)

Pre-assessment (for learning):

Formative (for learning):
Formative (as learning):

Outline assessment
(applicable to this lesson)

Students will compile a list in groups to be shared with the class detailing common themes of
Spirituals. (Goal: Are they noticing unity in Spirituals? Are they citing evidence based on the
video and on the text of the Spirituals?)
Choreography activity Are students thinking thoughtfully about how to convey the message
of the Spiritual through motion? Is the message theyre conveying appropriate to the actual

Summative (of learning):

Continuation of presentations see Lesson 2 for details of assessment strategy and criteria
Last 2-3 groups to present today

Provide Multiple Means of



Provide Multiple Means of

Action and Expression

Provide Multiple Means of


What barriers might this

lesson present?

Provide options for perceptionmaking information perceptible

Visual: watching the

video about the coded
language, ALSO listing
the common themes and
codes (in groups and on

Auditory Listening to
the speaker on the video
explain the codes,
Hearing teacher
reiterations and student

Kinesthetic group
comes up with
appropriate motions to
visually convey the
covert meaning of the
Provide options for language,
mathematical expressions, and
symbols- clarify & connect

What will it take

emotionally, etc., for your
students to do this lesson?

Provide options for physical actionincrease options for interaction

Balance of movement
portions of the class
period with nonmovement (video
watching & class
discussion vs. warm-up
exercises and

Provide options for recruiting

interest- choice, relevance, value,
authenticity, minimize threats

Watching a short video is

always a student favorite
it requires little
physical action, but
conveys information in a
multi-media way.
Additionally, it
minimizes teacher talk
and it recruits attention

Authenticity discussion
of how understanding the
meaning of the lyrics
informs how we perform

Provide options for expression and

communication- increase medium
of expression

Rehearsal portion



Video watching

Provide options for sustaining

effort and persistence- optimize
challenge, collaboration, masteryoriented feedback

Provide options for executive

functions- coordinate short & long
term goals, monitor progress, and
modify strategies

Provide options for self-regulationexpectations, personal skills and

strategies, self-assessment &

Group choreography
Singing with both
proper diction and with
thoughts in mind of the
meaning of the song

Provide options for

comprehension- activate, apply &
Group discussion/small
group listing of the
typical coded themes
Large group
collaboration on the
choreographed motions
of the Spiritual. (I.e. if
we wanted to act this out
in a non-cheesy way to
someone so we could
display to then what we
really meant without
saying it, how would we
do that?)

Materials-what materials
(books, handouts, etc) do
you need for this lesson
and are they ready to use?


Reflective Summary

Computer and projector cued up to this video on Coded Meaning in African-American

Google Drive (or any shared drive) or Projector laptop hookup capabilities
YouTube recording of City Called Heaven (arr. Poelinitz) for listening as students walk in
Lyric Sheets for Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, City Called Heaven, and The Gospel
PowerPoint slide with lyrics for Do Lord, Remember Me

How will your classroom

be set up for this lesson?

Chairs will be in normal formation (on the risers). Lyric packets will be sitting on each chair.
Speakers will be playing City Called Heaven as students walk into the room.
PBS video will be opened on another tab ready to go
The main floor (off the risers) will feature an open space

III. The Plan







(the largest
component or
main body of
the lesson)

Describe teacher activities

student activities
for each component of the lesson. Include important higher order thinking questions and/or
Teacher welcomes students and invites them to go
Students come in and sit down
have a seat. City Called Heaven is playing
Teacher plays PBS video once everyone is settled.
Says to class: Pay close attention to this and be
ready to discuss afterwards.

Students watch video

Teacher asks students: Why was coding used in

the lyrics of Spirituals back during the era of
slavery? What were some of the codes they used?
Teacher puts student responses on board.

Students respond to questions in a large-group


Teacher will instruct students to group off into

groups of 5 or 6. Looking at your lyric sheets, I
am going to assign your group one of the three. I
want you to use the information from the video and
what you know about that era and attempt to tell
the real message of this piece. Pick a speaker from
your group to share when youre finished.

Students collaborate together to discover the

central meaning of each piece. Group discussed
after and a speaker from each group shares the

Teacher pulls up PPT slide with lyrics for Do

Lord, Remember Me. He says to the class, Lets
read this together and try to tell the story of this
piece as a group. Some of the responses should
Beulah Land (Heaven) represents the
North and the look away beyond the sun
is a longing to be there, even though its
far away
Ive got a motherfathersavior
this is the ideal place to be. There is
dignity in this place and we will be united
with our loved ones and friends there. No
more pain and isolation.
Do Lord, Remember Me even when
were in the worst of conditions, hear us
and look on us.


Teacher says to students: Now I want you to come

down onto the floor and form a large circle through
the room.
I want us to spend some time as a whole group
doing some movement if we were going to try
and represent the consensus meaning of this piece,
line by line (in a non-cheesy way) only through
movement as we sang, how would we do that?
Take 15 minutes to start coming up with some, and
well come back to this tomorrow to apply it to the

Students offer tentative perspectives on

interpretation based on the information of the video
and the process gone through with the lyric sheets.
(H.O.T.Q. How can we take the principles of
interpretation from the other pieces and apply the same
process to this piece? What perspective is this piece
offering that may be different from the others?)

Students form a large circle.

Students work together to come up with

choreographed motions for the lyrics.

Teacher walks around to check and see if students

are displaying a solid grasp of the message as
they choreograph.


Teacher tells students to sit down so the final 2 or 3

groups can come up and present.


Teacher issues reflective summary questions to be

initially discussed in class (and has students hand
theirs in from yesterday on the way out). Questions
1. Why was coded language important for
the original singers of the Spirituals? How
does coded language play a part in
authentic performance?
2. When we look at the music we typically
listen to as individuals, where do we see
traces of coded language? Is it an artistic
choice, or does it arrive from necessity?
Explain your answer. What do you think
about it?
Teacher dismisses students.

Final groups come up to give presentations.

Students sit down and respond to questions as a

Students pack up and will receive the question
prompts via the Google (shared) drive for
reflection later that night. They hand the teacher
their Lesson 2 reflections as they leave the room.

Your reflection about the lesson, including evidence(s) of student learning and engagement, as well as ideas for improvement
for next time. (Write this after teaching the lesson, if you had a chance to teach it. If you did not teach this lesson, focus on the
process of preparing the lesson.)

As I prepared this lesson, I decided it would be best not to include a rehearsal portion outright. Because there is so much to cover, I
figured it would be helpful to devote this lesson to foundational principles (like the last one) and to save the rehearsal-based lesson
for the 4th or 5th. One of the big things Ive noticed, especially as Ive prepared this lesson, is the difficulty in time allotment for
various sections of the lesson. Ive been planning for 1.5-hour class periods and I still find myself pressed to get everything I need
into that time slot. However, its been a good experience in thinking about pacing. What I tried to do with this lesson was introduce a
very historic part of Spirituals into the mix with hopes that it would increase students understanding of the total piece. I really liked
the idea of the choreography, because that gives students a chance to 1) move, 2) think about expression in a new way, and 3)
display their knowledge of the message of the piece without saying it explicitly. Plus, it gives me as the teacher the freedom to walk
around, listen to the collaboration, and note what students understood and what they did not. For the reflection section, I wanted to
use that as an opportunity to connect the material of coded text to the idea of authentic performance as discussed in the prior lesson.
Additionally, this is an opportunity to think about an aspect of the unit that has previously been undealt with: How is my music
directly related to the issue were talking about?