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Teaching MOOD with MUSIC

Do you use music in your classroom?

I absolutely LOVE using music! I think it can help keep students focused and relaxed while working, I also think it’s great for classroom management, and I think it’s a wonderful motivator for students! Let’s face it… MUSIC can be quite MAGICAL in the classroom.

However, for today’s post I am going to focus on how I use music to teach my students all about MOOD. You see mood is one of those abstract concepts that can be quite tricky to understand.  That’s why I decided to use music in the first place. You see my students were having a hard time identifying mood in texts. So I decided to begin with music, something we are all familiar with. I also think that for kids it might be easier to “feel” mood in music. Especially since many of us choose music to listen to depending on how we are feeling at the moment.

I began by introducing the term MOOD with the poster on the left. We then had a discussion on the types of music we like to listen to and how it makes us feel. Students came up with words such as happy, sad, excited, scared, etc… They were doing AMAZING!
So we moved on to “positive” and “negative” mood words. We discussed what the words meant and then proceeded to look through a list of words I had put together.
Some of these words they were already familiar with and some they were not, but that’s okay because I’m always looking to challenge my kiddos and sneak in some new vocabulary. 
Once we had covered MOOD and the students had their list of positive and negative words we were ready to move on to the music.
For the next part of the lesson, I gave students a recording sheet (You can see the sheet I used down below). I proceeded to play 4 VERY DIFFERENT songs. After each song, I asked students to draw a picture or write a few words from their list describing what they were feeling while listening to each song.
I played each song 3 times. The first time the song was played I asked students to simply LISTEN and FEEL. During the next two times I played each clip I asked students to work on their illustrations.
These feeling faces that I found on Pinterest proved to be very HELPFUL with my class. I had them up on the SMART BOARD while we worked.

(Source)
I also found a wonderful website that is a FREE library of TV theme songs that you can use called Television Tunes . You can either use this site to select your music or even use iTunes of Pandora . Just make sure that you’ve previewed the music ahead of time. {You wouldn’t want any SURPRISES because we all know what that would be like!}

The last time I did this activity with my class I used the following song choices:

1. Charlie Brown Theme Song
2. STAR Wars Imperial March
3. Eye of the Tiger
4. Halloween Movie Theme Song
Take a look at what they came up with…

The children LOVED this activity! They even asked if we could do it again another day.

Now that we had a better understanding of MOOD in music, the next day we tried our hand at MOOD in a short text. I started off by giving my students a few sentences and asking them to circle any feeling words or words that would stir up emotions. Then in the faces below I had them draw what they thought each character looked like at that moment. Finally, on the line they wrote a positive or negative mood word.

Click on the picture to download
Once I felt my students were ready, we moved on to discussing mood using picture books! A wonderful resource I’ve found for sharing quality picture books is Storyline Online. If you have yet to visit this site you need to stop what you’re doing and hurry over there right now!!!!!

I absolutely LOVE this website. It has famous actors and actresses reading popular and quality storybooks aloud. However, they don’t just read the book, it actually seems as if they are acting out each book with their voices. (Great lesson on intonation for children!)

Now it’s your turn… How do you use music or teach mood in your classroom?

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Cate O'Donnell
    July 8, 2015 at 4:50 am

    This is such a great idea! Mood is really hard to teach! I will be saving this for next year! Also, I will see you in Vegas at the Advanced Blogging session!

  • Reply
    Cate O'Donnell
    July 8, 2015 at 4:50 am

    This is such a great idea! Mood is really hard to teach! I will be saving this for next year! Also, I will see you in Vegas at the Advanced Blogging session!

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