This project is just the library portion of a much bigger cross-classroom project, utilizing art, music, library, and classroom teachers. This collection first focuses on visual analysis of artworks and photographs as a lead-in for further research into individual musician’s biographies.
During their library time, students are introduced to important Jazz musicians. Then they research those musicians and put the information they learn together with the information gained from the other special areas and in their classroom to think about how Jazz has changed over time and what made the musicians who they were.
Day 1: See, Think, Wonder - we look at the photograph together and they come up with their sticky notes for later discussions.
Day 2: Discussion: Who are these people, why are they important, and what did we notice about this painting. We then compare the painting to the very colorful Duke Ellington photo, followed by a few more of famous musicians. We discuss the different ways color and diversity is shown and how that is important for the time the music was being created.
Day 3-5: Students will pick musicians and begin to research about their lives. They will use our online databases (ie. WorldBook) to get background information. They will then do an illustration of their person and put in important words/phrases to show how their life shaped who they became. These drawings are then hung and used for further discussions.
List of possible musicians to research (we use more as needed for the students to work in pairs): Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Romare Bearden, Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker, Jellie roll Morton, Thelonious Monk, Count Bassie, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis
The overall grade level project looks at African American music over time and how it has changed from African Tribal songs up thru Jazz in the 50s-60s and beyond. Then they discuss how it has fused into something new and ever changing.
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