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Emergency Lesson Plans



Preparation: 1. Students can download the PDFs of “Eleven,” & “My Name,” by Sandra Cisneros if they want to read on the computer.
Days 1&2
Step 1: Read the short story, “Eleven,” by Sandra Cisneros. Using response notes (annotating text), to predict, question, connect, or visualize as you read.
Step 2: Visualize, Draw a picture of how you think Rachel feels when she is sitting in her classroom with the ugly red sweater. In the space below, write about how you feel about Rachel’s reaction to the sweater.
Step 3: Make Connections, Think of times when you didn’t feel as old as you were. Make notes about one memory you have when you felt younger than you were.

  • What made you feel younger?
  • How old were you?
  • How old did you feel?

Jot down as many details as you can remember about that memory. You will use these notes in a later lesson.
Step 4: Write a Sentence about whether you think boys and girls both have experiences like Rachel’s, when they don’t feel
as old as they are.
Day 2
Step 5: One of the ways to read a piece of literature is to think “what if?”the story were different in some way. For example
how would your perspective change if the title of a character changed.
*Talk with a partner about how you might read this story differently if the title were different.
What other title would fit this piece? Would another title be more or less effective than “Eleven?”
Write your thoughts.
Step 6
*Talk with a partner abut how the story would change if it were told from a different perspective.
What if “Eleven” were a story of a boy at that age instead of a girl? How do you think the story would be different?
What if you were a student in Rachel’s class who remembered this moment of insensitivity toward Rachel? How
do yo think you would feel about this story now?
*Make up three or four different “What if” speculations and share them with you partner or writing group.
*Choose on of the “what if” speculations. Make some planning notes about details you could include when you write about this
speculation. Save the notes.

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G6 Humanities “Overdoing It- Eleven, Comparative Literature Part II” May 28-June 1

Here is the link to this week’s assignment. May 28-June 1


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HS Virtual Jazz: Sounds and Instruments

A. Tone Colors

Jazz musicians play their instruments utilizing the complete gamut of tone colors (tonal quality) that their instruments will allow.

B. Emotional Expression

Unlike classical players who usually strive for a clear, “pure” tone, jazz players strive for a tone that is generally more “vocal” in nature, i.e., jazz musicians will bend pitches, “growl,” “whine,” play “raunchy,” “dark,” “light,” “airy,” “raspy,” “bluesy,” “throaty,” “nasally” (anything the human voice can do to express emotion and then some) in addition to playing clearly.

Audio Snippets

Speakerspacer Pitch Bends – Mark Gridley

Speakerspacer Blue Notes – Mark Gridley

C. Common Instruments

Today, jazz can be (and is) played on virtually any instrument, including the human voice. The most common instruments associated with jazz (in order of basic precedence) are:

1. Saxophone

2. Trumpet

3. Piano, bass, and drums (known as the rhythm section)

4. Guitar

5. Clarinet

6. Trombone

7. Flute

Audio Snippets

Speakerspacer Rhythm Section Roles – Mark Gridley

D. The Sound

Each instrument has its own general tone color (e.g., a saxophone sounds different from a trumpet, guitar, flute, piano, etc.) and each musician has his/her own particular sound on that instrument.

1. Although, say, a saxophone still sounds like a saxophone no matter who’s playing it, most jazz musicians and aficionados can distinguish one saxophonist from another by his/her tone alone. In the same way, we can distinguish one human voice from another. For example, even if we hear someone speak whom we haven’t talked to in months, we usually can distinguish who it is even after just one “hello” on the phone: that’s how distinctive one particular voice can be; that’s how distinctive one saxophonist’s sound can be.

2. A jazz musician’s particular sound is part of his/her signature, part of what distinguishes him/her from another.

3. What attracts the listener is not just what a particular jazz musician plays (i.e., how he/she improvises); it’s also the way he/she plays (i.e., his/her particular sound).

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HS Virtual Jazz: Rhythm

II. Rhythm

A. Basic Definition

1. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, rhythm is a regular pattern formed by a series of notes of differing duration and stress.

2. That part of the music which concerns how long or short each note is played

3. The beat of the music

4. That part of the music that makes the listener want to to tap his/her foot

5. The “feel” of a tune (song); a tune’s “groove” (i.e., rock, funk, swing, salsa, etc.) B. Jazz Rhythms

Jazz rhythms can range from simple to extremely complex. However, underlying even the most complex rhythms performed by each individual musician in a jazz group is an underlying pulse (the beat) – that which makes the listener able to tap his/her foot with the music8.

C. Tempo: The Speed of the Pulse (Beat)

1. The speed at which the listener (or the player) taps his/her foot is the tempo of that particular version of a tune.

2. Tempos in jazz range from very slow (ballads) to extremely fast (tunes that are “burning”).

D. Syncopation

1. The accenting of beats that are normally not accented

2. Stressing the notes that are on the up beat (i.e., when one’s foot is in the air – or up position – when tapping normally with the beat of the music)

E. Swing

1. A difficult-to-define rhythmic concept

2. For the musician, the definition of swing, among other complexities, is a manner of playing a steady stream of notes in a long-short-long-short pattern

3. For the listener (as well as the player), swing refers to the music’s buoyancy, rhythmic lilt, liveliness, and cohesiveness

4 If a jazz performance has constant tempo (not slowing down or speeding up), rhythmically cohesive group playing, syncopation, and an upbeat feeling, it’s swinging

Audio Snippets

speakerspacer Swing Eighth Notes – Mark Gridley

F. As Natural as Breathing

Through listening to jazz recordings (as well as live jazz), practice, and performance, jazz musicians internalize the rhythmic element so completely that it is as natural for them as breathing.

G. What Makes Jazz, Jazz

The often subtle and varied use of a multitude of simple and complex rhythms, all interwoven extemporaneously into one cohesive sound, is, perhaps more than any other element, what makes jazz, jazz.

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HS Virtual Jazz: Elements of Jazz- Assignment + Final Project Test Option

1. Download the following PDF Jazz in America Glossary. The information on this PDF is the same as on the Jazz in America Glossary Post https://the24hourtala.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/8-hs-virtual-jazz-elements-of-jazz/. Please review this well. This is essential vocabulary for talking about music.

Download the following PDF on “Jazz Improvisation/Conversation Analogy Sheet.” Read through it to get the idea of the analogy. HS Virtual Jazz- Conversation_Improvisation

2. Make sure you have reviewed the following posts on improvisation, rhythm and general swing feel, sounds and instruments associated with Jazz, Harmony, and form. Here are the links to those posts.



Sounds and Instruments:https://the24hourtala.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/hs-virtual-jazz-sounds-and-instruments/



3. Click on the following link and listen to “Songs of My Father,” by Horace Silver.


Here is a youtube video of the same song.

Assignment: Based on what you have learned about improvisation, rhythm and general swing feel, sounds and instruments associated with Jazz, Harmony, and form, talk about how and where those elements are present in this piece of music. Please be specific.


So, your final projects are due next week, on Tuesday at the latest. It would be great if I could get them this week even. I need to see the rough draft on Friday at the latest. I have a feeling some of you are behind on this. It’s just a feeling. So I’m going to give you a second option for completing the course. Based on what you’ve learned so far, in this post and in previous posts, I’m going to give you a summative test that can count as your project grade, which is 20 percent of your fourth quarter grade. If you opt to take the test, you can download it here. Put your answers on a word doc. in a way that is clear, attach to an email and send. The test is long, but it might be a good option for some of you.

HS Virtul Jazz_Final Project_Test Option

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HS Virtual Jazz: Form

V. Form

A. Structure

Most jazz tunes utilize a recurring chord progression that serves as the structure of the tune; the way in which the different sections of the progression are grouped determines the form of the tune.

B. Musical Blueprint

Form can be considered a tune’s “musical blueprint,” allowing each musician (and educated listener) to keep his/her place in the structure.

C. Sections

Each different section of a chord progression is assigned a different letter.

1. For example: if a tune is 24 measures long and is divided into three eight-measure sections with the first two sections containing a set of identical chords and the last section containing a set of different chords, the form is AAB (see Song for My Father10) musical form

2. for example: if a tune is 32 measures long and is divided into four eight-measure sections with the first two sections containing a set of identical chords, the third section a different set of chords, and the last section the same as the first, the form is AABA (see Take the A Train) musical form

D. Chorus

In a jazz performance, the form of a tune, i.e., all the chords of the tune in a predetermined sequence (such as AAB, AABA, ABAC, etc.), will be repeated over and over; each time through is called a chorus.

E. Common Sequence

For each chorus, something different happens. The most common sequence is:

1. first chorus: the melody instruments (e.g., the horns) play the head, that is, the composed melody of the song11

2. middle choruses (undetermined number): each musician in turn improvises a solo using the form as his/her guide, knowing the chord progression of each section (the chords provide the impetus for what notes can be played by the improviser); each soloist can improvise for as many choruses as he/she desires

3. last chorus: the head again (called the “out” head as the musicians are taking the tune “out,” that is, ending the tune)

F. Before and After

Often before the first chorus (the head), there is an introduction; often after the last chorus (the out head), there is an ending.

G. Common Forms

The most common forms found in jazz include AABA, ABAC, 16-Bar Tune, and 12-Bar Blues (see Common Forms sheet and the Uncommon Forms sheet).

H. Arrangement

Who does what during each chorus is called the arrangement.

1. Arrangements can be determined prior to the performance and are often written. Generally speaking, the larger the ensemble, the more need to have written arrangements.12 Arrangements are written and published for jazz bands of all sizes and levels from elementary school to professional. Most are written for the standard “big band” instrumentation of five saxes, four trumpets, four trombones, and four “rhythm,” i.e., piano, bass, guitar,13 and drums (incidentally, most high school jazz bands utilize this instrumentation). More to come on big band music in lesson #4 when discussing the swing era.

2. Besides arrangements that are written, simple arrangements can be determined by a brief “talk over” prior to a performance or even on the spur of the moment (this is called a head arrangement). This usually occurs in the small group (quintet or smaller) setting. When occurring at an informal jam session, who does what when is directed by common practice, intuition, and visual cues (e.g., head nods, looks, etc.).

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