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Lesson 4
Take Action- Writing Songs

Connecting a Song’s Theme
to Chorus

Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Write and revise a chorus that is memorable and connected to the overall theme of a song

Overview/Purpose:

This section will focus on the connection between the chorus and the theme of a song. It will guide students as they work on composing and/or revising a chorus which is memorable and connected to their song’s overall purpose and theme.

Guiding Questions:

  • What is the function of a chorus in a song?
  • How can I write a chorus that captures my message and has an impact on my audience?

Recommended Time:

2 or more class periods

 

Common Core State Standards:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.4
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.5
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.6
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.10

 

Materials:

Copies of completed “Initial Song Brainstorm” and any additional process work completed

Copies of previously annotated lyrics

 

Lesson Design:

  • Show the Bandslam video  again or remind students of the content. Point out that the Bandslam video begins by talking about the main idea of a song – suggesting that as a listener, you should think about what the songwriter is trying to tell you. A good way to do that is to pay attention to the chorus of a song. This will usually connect to the song’s overall message and purpose.
  • Demonstrate this for students by revisiting a song studied as a class, rereading the lyrics and discussing how the chorus is connected to the overall theme and message.
  • In partnerships or small groups, students reread lyrics they previously studied, this time specifically to consider how the chorus is connected to the overall message / meaning of the song.
  • As a class, discuss what various groups noticed about the role of the chorus in various songs.
  • Explain to students that one way to approach songwriting is to begin with a chorus, using the chorus as the foundation of the song overall.
  • Using the “Initial Song Brainstorm” you completed from the previous lesson, model how you would begin experimenting writing a chorus for your song.
  • Students continue working on song composition, focusing on writing or revising a chorus that has a message and is memorable.