4th or 5th
Grade General Music Lesson
Drinking Gourd in correlation with Black History Month
(lesson plan to
be used over a period of two lengths)
why the coded song ³Follow the Drinking Gourd² was so important to
coded song lyrics that fit with a given melody.
song lyrics as a small group while recording into Garage Band.
The purpose of this lesson is
for students to understand how songs were used to help slaves escape
through the Underground Railroad.
Students will use this same idea to create their own coded songs and
use technology and performance to perform and record their own coded
Standards: (MENC National Standards)
alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
4. Composing and arranging music within specific
9. Understanding music in relation to history and
Music and Materials:
the Drinking Gourd by
recording of ³Follow the Drinking Gourd² and C.D. player.
and ³left foot, peg foot labels² to map out route
with Garage Band (track
set up with piano part from ³Drinking Gourd²
Set: Question/discuss with class: ³Why do we listen to
music?² and ³Why is
it important to you?²
(Expecting answers about entertainment)
- Class will learn the song Follow
the Drinking Gourd through imitation.
Story: Read Follow the Drinking Gourd to
the class. Discuss
significance of the story and how it relates to Harriet Tubman and the
- Map: Show map of areas in the story. Have students map out the route as told in the
lyrics: Working in groups of three, code a ³secret
message² explaining how to get to a specific place. To the melody used in ³Follow
the Drinking Gourd², write one verse. Get teacher approval to move onto the next
In Garage Band, record the lyrics over the piano part that has
already been created.
Activity: ³What are other ways
that this message to escape could have been taught to the slaves?²
students able to discuss and understand how this song was originally?
students able to take the idea of the coded song to create their own
students write lyrics that fit with the song melody?
students successfully record their songs in Garage Band?
recorded performances for the class. Try to ³decode² the lyrics.
other points in history that songs were used for various purposes.