story telling

story telling
Storytelling = Engaged Students

Our Mission

We sincerely hope that you become as inspired by teaching through the arts as we have. Highlights of our program included doing a solo drama in our class and storytelling. Students really got engaged and their retention of information from these lessons was very high.

3rd Grade Science Biomes Lesson

Lesson: Life Science -- Biome Songs
3rd Grade Science

Background:  The students have been spending the last month studying biomes and are completing their culminating activity for the unit, a biome report. In this report, they were assigned three biomes to study and learn about in detail. The report had several components, the last being a “biome song” where they would use their knowledge of one biome (whichever they felt they knew the most about) to create a piggy-back song containing the major elements of their biome. The students will then be asked to incorporate a simple rhythm with their song using rhythm sticks.

Objective:  Students will demonstrate their knowledge of a specified biome by describing its characteristics in a biome song.

CA 3rd Core: Reading Informational Text – K.I.D. 2 – Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea

CA 3rd ELA WA 2.0 -- Students write compositions that describe and explain familiar objects, events, and 
experiences.  Student writing demonstrates a command of standard American English 
and the drafting, research, and organizational strategies outlined in Writing Standard 1.0. 
Using the writing strategies of grade three outlined in Writing Standard 1.0, students: 
2.2 Write descriptions that use concrete sensory details to present and support unified 
impressions of people, places, things, or experiences. 
CA 3rd Life Sciences -- Adaptations in physical structure or behavior may improve an organism’s chance for survival. As a basis for understanding this concept: 
b. Students know examples of diverse life forms in different environments, such as 
oceans, deserts, tundra, forests, grasslands, and wetlands. 

CA VAPA  2.4 -- Improvise simple rhythmic and melodic accompaniments, using voice and a variety of classroom instruments.

*This lesson is applicable to all cultural groups.
Day One, Lesson One
Into The teacher will lead the class in a warm-up activity

Students will be asked to describe to their neighbor the physical characteristics of a cactus. (Interpersonal intelligence) Students will then be asked to determine which of those characteristics they can act out together. They will have 2 minutes to decide on a tableau for a cactus. When two minutes are up, students can then present their tableaus to the class. (Naturalistic/Kinesthetic intelligences)
Materials: Paper, pencil, science book (for reference)

Teacher and students will use the desert biome to create a piggy-back song. Teacher and students will brainstorm characteristics of the desert, focusing on physical features, weather, and plant and animal adaptations. Teacher will demonstrate how to organize these ideas into a simple organizer or mind map (like spoke and wheel). Teacher will then demonstrate how to put each of the elements into a verse. For example:
To the tune London Bridge
Desert weather is hot and dry
Hot and dry
Hot and dry
Desert weather is hot and dry
With very little rainfall

Make sure the children understand that their lyrics must fit in the beat of the song they choose. 
Put a list of simple nursery songs on the board and song a verse of each with the kids to refresh their memories. 
For example:
London Bridge
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Put the children into groups of two or three based on their choice of biome. The children can then decide on their 4-5 critical elements that will represent the weather, physical features, and animal and plant adaptations of their biome of choice. The children should complete an organizer together that the teacher checks to make sure the children are on the right track. 
Once they have shared their ideas, and teacher has checked their organizers, children can then begin to put their elements into a piggy-back song. Allow them time to complete the songs as well as practice them in their groups until they are comfortable with their songs.
(Spatial, Interpersonal, Linguistic, Naturalistic, Musical intelligences)

Day Two, Lesson Two
Materials: sets of rhythm sticks for all students
Pass out rhythm sticks to all students. Use the sticks to lead the students in a simple tapped pattern to the tune London Bridge.  It can be as simple as tapping the table once on the first beat, then tapping the sticks together on the second beat. Show the children several variations of beat possibilities.

Explain to the students you would like them to incorporate a rhythm pattern into their piggy-back songs they’ve created using the rhythm sticks.  Instruct them to practice their song several times without the sticks in their hands. Then they can use the sticks to work out a rhythm pattern. The pattern can be simple or complex.
(Spatial, Interpersonal, Linguistic, Musical intelligences)


Students will present their biome reports, including their biome songs to the class. They will share the 3 biomes they researched and the highlights of what they learned. Then they can sing their biome songs in their groups.

Students will be assessed based on the following rubric:

4 3 2 1
Student included 4-5 major elements reflective of the characteristics of the biome, demonstrating a thorough understanding of the biome
Student included 4-5 elements reflective of the characteristics of the biome, demonstrating an adequate understanding of the biome.
Student included 3-4 elements reflective of the characteristics of the biome, demonstrating an inadequate understanding of the biome.
Student included elements not found in the particular biome
The verses kept the rhythm of the original tune; rhythm sticks incorporated successfully into the tune
Most of the verses kept the rhythm of the original tune; rhythm sticks incorporated successfully into the tune
Some of the verses kept the rhythm of the original tune; rhythm sticks incorporated successfully into the tune
The verses did not keep the rhythm of the original tune; rhythm sticks not incorporated successfully into the tune

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