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Tools for Teaching

Tools for Teaching from Smithsonian Folkways provides ideas and resources for educators to inspire their use of Folkways music from around the world. Information about these sounds and the cultures that create them are a valuable resource to courses in history, geography, language arts, social studies, visual arts-and of course music and dance.

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Explore rural nomadic life in Mongolia and the highly impressionistic music and arts of the Central Asian steppes. Students learn to imitate sounds of the natural environment through improvised dance, instrumental performance, and throat-singing.

This lesson uses music from Romani performers to explore basic musical concepts. Students show ternary (ABA) form in movement, sing a Russian folk song in English, practice showing phrase structure and finding and showing beat, and discriminate a rhythmic pattern at various tempi.

GRADES: 3-5; 6-8; 9-12; K-2 Immerse yourself in the lively mood of Samba and Carimbo. Learn the basic steps and dance along with the music. Identify the instruments and play along with others. Learn about the relationships of of Samba and Carimbo with other musics such as jazz and swing.

Vocal music is a key expression in many cultures. It often ties an ancestral past (history, identity, ritual) to the present through story-telling, text, song, and dance. This unit focuses on a selection of vocal music from Indonesia and asks students to explore the ways in the vocal music expresses culture. In doing so, this unit focuses on an Indonesian lullaby, a Sikka work song, and Kecak vocal orchestra.

Chinese music consists of many regional traditions that differ in form, style, quality and repertory (Lau, 2008). This curricular unit introduces some difang yinyue (regional music of China) and encourages children to discover characteristics of Chinese music by "travelling" around the eastern region of this country.

Lesson Plan Wednesday! #Smithsonian #Folkways just published its 100th lesson plan! These expertly-crafted lesson plans from around the world can be adapted to fit many different classes and age groups.

The sentiments of the winter holiday season continue with this new lesson plan from Smithsonian Folkways Magazine. Bring an historical perspective of Christmas to the classroom via song renditions by Elizabeth Mitchell and others. #Christmasforever #ElizabethMitchell

¿Cómo se construye la identidad? Take a look at this special bilingual resource kit that explores the history of the Mexico-United States border. Learn about the Chicano movement and how identity is constructed in communities close to the border.

NORTH AMERICA. Suggested Grade Levels: 4-8. View Full Lesson Plan: www.folkways.si.e... Students will use Mike Seeger’s performance of “Josh Thomas’s Roustabout” as a gateway to exploring vocal expression within a limited-tone sequence.

BAHAMAS, UNITED STATES. Suggested Grade Levels: K-2. View Full Lesson Plan: ow.ly/m9JNM We are all born with the rhythm inside us, our hearts thumping out an ongoing, ever-present beat that is individually felt and yet also commonly experienced. Through these experiences, children will discover the commonalities shared in drum beats and rhythms across cultures, as well as learn about the rich diversity of drums on the planet.

NORTH AMERICA. Suggested Grade Levels. K-3. View Full Lesson Plan: media.smithsonian.... In this lesson are opportunities for teaching and learning about some ways in which music is aligned with visual art. A sampling of songs from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is presented, alongside the cover art relevant to the songs.

NORTH AMERICA. View Full Lesson Plan: media.smithsonian.... This unit is intended to introduce students to the culture and music of Mardi Gras Indians, an important African American phenomenon that takes place in New Orleans. Students will examine the tradition and its culture-bearers, listen to and analyze Mardi Gras Indian music, and examine the multiple cultural influences that have contributed to the tradition.

AFRICA. Suggested Grade Levels. 3-5, 6-8. View Full Lesson Plan: media.smithsonian.... These lessons will provide intermediate-level children the opportunity to hear improvised flute performance for solo, duet and octet ensembles. Students will learn to identify diverse musical elements, including steady beats, rhythm, melody, harmony and expressive qualities in an improvised setting.

ASIA. View Full Lesson Plan: 3. media.smithsonian.... In this lesson, students will develop an understanding of the mode of Namdo Korean folksongs, as well as the call-and-response musical form. To illustrate these features, this lesson focuses on the 5,000 year-old Korean dance known as “Ganggangsullae” (“Kang-Kang-Soo-Woo-Nae”).

SOUTH AMERICA. Suggested Grade Levels: 3-5. View Full Lesson Plan: media.smithsonian.... The Paraguayan harp is a cultural emblem that represents not only the nation of Paraguay and its traditional music, but also the ideals that contribute to a collective notion of paraguayidad (i.e. “Paraguayness”). The Paraguayan diatonic harp serves as a melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic instrument.

NORTH AMERICA. Suggested Grade Levels K-2. View Full Lesson Plan: media.smithsonian... Open the eyes of your students to the beauty and power of American and world folk songs and stories through the iconic figure of Pete Seeger. Explore his important work in promoting peace, understanding, community, and wonder through song.

EUROPE. Suggested Grade Levels: 3-5. View Full Lesson Plan: media.smithsonian... Irish Music: Experiences in Dance, Singing, and Instrument Playing. Explore the world of Irish culture through playing, singing and dancing. Students will learn to differentiate styles of Irish music and start discussing the cultural context of song and dance.

EUROPE. Suggested Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8. View Full Lesson Plan: media.smithsonian... Irish Bodhran and the Celtic Classics: Singing, Dancing, and Playing with Cunla and Patsy Ory Ory Aye. Play the bodhran accurately and with a steady beat. Learn listening, singing and dancing skill through the traditional song “Cunla”.

SOUTH AMERICA. Suggested Grade Levels: 6-8. View Full Lesson Plan: media.smithsonian... Capoeira: Martial Arts Meets Music. Performance videos and live recordings immerse students in this musically and visually exciting tradition from Brazil. Students learn to recognize the differences in several Brazilian musical genres.

SOUTH AMERICA. Suggested Grade Levels: 6-8. View Full Lesson Plan: media.smithsonian... Dance Traditions of Argentina. The goal of the lesson is to introduce students to two contrasting dance traditions from Argentina: the Chacarera and the Tango. Elements of the music used to accompany both types of traditional dance will be explored.

SOUTH AMERICA. Suggested Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12. View Full Lesson Plan: media.smithsonian... Dança!: Movement and Music of Brazil. Immerse yourself in the lively mood of Samba and Carimbo. Learn the basic steps and dance along with the music. Identify the instruments and play along with others. Learn about the relationships of Samba and Carimbo with other musics such as jazz and swing.

SOUTH AMERICA. Suggested Grade Levels: K-2. View Lesson Plan: media.smithsonian... “Ritmo Embolada” An Introduction of Brazilian Rhythm. ‘Embolada” is a form of poetry and song that has set refrains. The refrains allow singers to organize their next improvised stanza in their heads—even as the music is sounding. (McGowan,1991) This form of traditional music is active in the northeastern region of Brazil.

SOUTH AMERICA. Suggested Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12. View Full Lesson Plan: media.smithsonian... Aymara and Machu Picchu. Peruvian Aymara Ensemble (Session 1)/Kena (traditional Andean flute) Concerto performed and composed by Peruvian musicians (Session 2) with the cultural and historical introduction.