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Uke 4 Kids: First Grade  

Context Statement:​ This unit will take place in the elementary school music classroom for a group of first grade
students. The students range in age from five to seven and all come from different racial and economic
backgrounds. The majority of the population is caucasian with the rest being primarily African American and
Hispanic. Approximately a third of the students can afford and take private lessons on other instruments while the
rest really only experience music in the elementary school. The learners know the nursery rhymes that will be
taught in class, but have little to no experience playing the ukulele. Because the students have little experience and
are at the elementary level, they may need individual coaching within the group and various visual models to assist
in gaining understanding.

Stage 1 - Desired Results

Standards: Goals:
1.1 The student ● I can play the C and F chords on the ukulele by the end of the experience. (S)
will read and
notate music, ● I can play a song on the ukulele with the appropriate dynamics and tempo set
including high by the instructor by the end of the experience both by myself and with my
and low pitches, classmates. (S)
using traditional
and ● I can perform a song that includes quarter notes, paired eighth notes and
nontraditional quarter rests using both the ukulele and my voice by the end of the unit. (S)
notation;
rhythmic patterns ● I can explain the role of nursery rhymes in my culture by the end of the
that include experience. (K)
quarter notes,
paired eighth ● I can aurally identify pieces of music and classify them as either vocal or
notes, and instrumental music by the end of the unit. (M)
quarter rests,
using traditional ● I can work with my peers to put on a performance of a song successfully in my
and music classroom by the end of the experience. (S)
nontraditional
notation; and ● I can express my likes and dislikes from my ukulele experience at the end of
identification of the unit. (K)
basic music
symbols.

1.4 The student


will play a variety
of pitched and
unpitched
instruments alone
and with others,
including playing
expressively with
appropriate
dynamics and
tempo;
accompanying
songs and chants,
using body
percussion as well
as instruments;
and using proper
playing
techniques.

1.5 The student


will perform
rhythmic patterns
that include
quarter notes,
paired eighth
notes, and
quarter rests,
using
instruments, body
percussion, and
voice.

1.6 The student


will demonstrate
the difference
between melodic
rhythm and
steady beat.

1.10 The student


will explore
historical and
cultural aspects
of music by
recognizing how
music is used in
the customs and
traditions of a
variety of
cultures;
describing the
roles of music and
musicians;
identifying
musicians in the
school,
community, and
media; and
describing how
people
participate in
music
experiences.

1.13 The student


will analyze music
by differentiating
vocal and
instrumental
music;
distinguishing
between
accompanied and
unaccompanied
vocal music.

1.15 The student


will demonstrate
manners and
teamwork that
contribute to
success in the
music classroom.

1.17 The student


will describe
personal ideas
and emotions
evoked by music.

Generative (Essential) Questions:


- How can I apply what I learned about the ukulele to play other stringed instruments?
- In what other ways does music play a role in my native culture?
- How can I gain information to learn to play other songs on the ukulele?

Stage 2 - Evidence 

Evidence of Goals:
● Each student will be observed playing the C and F chords on the ukulele during a game as they are
displayed on the board randomly and will receive a check mark by each chord on the list after it is
performed correctly.
● The student will play “Five Little Monkeys” at an audible volume after being counted off by the instructor
and will receive a check mark if they continue the performance with the appropriate dynamic and tempo.
● The student will receive a check mark if they play “Five Little Monkeys” with the correct rhythms on the
ukulele and sing the correct rhythms with their voice.
● The student will turn in a completed handout that answers true and false questions about how nursery
rhymes play a role in culture.
● The student will turn in a completed handout that contains their responses to an aural assessment that
tests their ability to identify the difference between instrumental and vocal music.
● The student will be a performer in a recorded video of the song “Five Little Monkeys” along with the rest of
their peers.
● The student will complete a handout that documents their likes and dislikes from the experience.

Checklist Example:
Student Name Plays F Chord Plays C Chord Plays Correct Plays/Sing Correct
Dynamic/Tempo Rhythms

Z
The checklist will use three different marks of achievement.
● ✓- = the student is showing minimal evidence of completing the task
● ✓ = the student meets the expectation of completing the task
● ✓+ = the student exceeds the expectations of completing the task
Over time the students progress will be documented with subsequent check marks.

Stage 3 – Learning Plan (6 Half-Hour Sessions) 

Day 1:
● Opening Jam Session/Listening Activity: ​The teacher will explain the difference between instrumental and
vocal music. Students will then listen to a variety of audio clips that are either instrumental or vocal and
have them raise their hands to signify which category they think the audio clips fall into.
● Circle Talk:​ The teacher will ask every student their favorite nursery rhyme. The teacher will then proceed
to ask where students hear nursery rhymes and what they think nursery rhymes are used for.
● “Five Little Monkey” Introduction: ​The teacher will ask the students if they know “Five Little Monkeys”.
Then the teacher will model the song to the students line by line until the students can sing the whole song.
Day 2:
● Opening Jam Session: ​Begin by refreshing the tune of “Five Little Monkeys” with class by singing through
the nursery rhyme as a group. The teacher will then play the ukulele accompaniment for the class while
they sing together as a group.
● Distribute Ukuleles to Students.
● Begin Teaching Chords: ​Explain number of strings and their names to the students. Display the C chord on
the board. Describe the finger placement for the C chord and then monitor students as they try it on their
own. Display F chord on the board. Describe the finger placement for the F chord and then monitor
students as they try it on their own.
● Rhythm Game: ​Play a rhythm game with students where the teacher strums a rhythm on either the C or F
chord and the students repeat the pattern back.
Day 3:
● Opening Jam Session: ​Review the melody of “Five Little Monkeys” singing and playing the ukulele for the
students.
● Distribute the ukuleles.
● Experiment: ​The teacher will tell the students what chord the song begins on and have them experiment
with playing along with her/him on the ukulele.
● Display Chord Progression:​ Display the chord progression for the students on the board and have them do
strums the length of a quarter note on each beat at a slow tempo to accompany the song.
● Closing Jam Session: ​The teacher should ask the students to try to sing along as they do the quarter note
length strums of the two different chords on the ukulele.
Day 4:
● Opening Jam Session: ​The teacher will ask the students to try to sing along as they do the quarter note
length strums of the two different chords on the ukulele like they did at the end of the previous session.
● Introduce Rhythm/ Rhythm Game: ​Introduce the rhythm of the strums (including quarter notes, eighth
notes, and quarter rests) to the students by first learning it using body percussion. Then have the students
pick up their ukuleles and attempt to strum the new rhythm on the ukuleles.
● Closing Jam Session: ​The teacher should have students play the song and sing along with the new strum
rhythms.
Day 5:
● Opening Jam Session: ​The teacher should have students play the song and sing along with the new strum
rhythms.
● New Song: ​Teach the students another nursery rhyme that uses the same chord progression.
● Play Time: ​The teacher will let the students spend the rest of the time attempting to perfect the two
nursery rhymes while she/he assesses with the checklist.
Day 6:
● Concert: ​The students will put on a short concert of the two nursery rhymes they learned on the ukulele for
guests invited to the classroom.
● Closing: ​Students will fill out/color worksheets indicating their feelings about the experience and what they
believe the purpose of nursery rhymes are.

Final Assessment Rubric 

Goal/Quality No Evidence  Minimal  Meet  Exceeds 


Evidence  Expectations  Expectations 

1 ​I can play both The student can not The student can The student can The student can play
the C and F play the C or F play either the C play both the C both the C and F
chords on the chord on the or F chord on the and F chords on chord with correct
ukulele by the ukulele. ukulele. the ukulele. fingerings and has
end of the knowledge of other
experience. chords.

2 ​I can play a The student does The student plays The student plays The student plays the
song on the not play the at a different the appropriate appropriate tempo
ukulele with the appropriate tempo tempo or dynamic tempo and and dynamic set by
appropriate or dynamic set by than that set by dynamic set by the instructor and
dynamics and the instructor. the instructor. the instructor. incorporates musical
tempo set by phrasing in the lines
the instructor by in the song.
the end of the
experience both
by myself and
with my
classmates.

3 ​I can perform The student does The student The student The student
a song that not demonstrate demonstrates demonstrates demonstrates quarter
includes quarter quarter notes, some of the quarter notes, notes, quarter rests,
notes, paired quarter rests, and correct quarter quarter rests, and and eighth notes in
eighth notes eighth notes in note, quarter rest, eighth notes in both their voice and
and quarter either their voice or and eighth note both their voice ukulele strumming
rests using both ukulele strumming. rhythms in either and ukulele and embellishments
the ukulele and their voice or strumming. to their voice or
my voice by the ukulele strumming technique.
end of the unit. strumming.

4 ​I can explain The student does The student is The student can The student can
the role of not know the unsure of the explain a purpose explain multiple
nursery rhymes purpose of nursery purpose of of nursery rhymes purposes of nursery
in my culture by rhymes in their nursery rhymes in in their culture. rhymes in their
the end of the culture. their culture. culture.
experience.

5 ​I can aurally The student can not The student can The student can The student can
identify pieces aurally identify aurally identify aurally identify aurally identify pieces
of music and pieces of music as pieces of music as pieces of music as of music as either
classify them as either instrumental either instrumental either instrumental instrumental or vocal
either vocal or or vocal. or vocal with or vocal with no perfectly and can
instrumental occasional error. errors. identify the types of
music by the instruments being
end of the unit. used.

6 ​I can work The student does The student works The student works The student takes a
with my peers to not work to learn alone to learn and with other leadership role as
put on a and perform a song perform a song in students to learn they work with other
performance of in the music the music and perform a students to learn and
a song classroom. classroom. song together in perform a song
successfully in the music together in the music
my music classroom. classroom.
classroom by
the end of the
experience.
7 ​I can express The student can not The student can The student can The student can
my likes and express a like or express either a express both a express multiple likes
dislikes from my dislike from the like or dislike from like and dislike and dislikes from the
ukulele experience. the ukulele from the ukulele ukulele experience in
experience at experience. experience. detail.
the end of the
unit.