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Smithsonian Folkways - Tools for Teaching

Found In: arts, language arts, social studies, preK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Guthrie (1912-67) was one of the most important folk composers in American history. "This Land Is Your Land" is ubiquitous in American life and regarded by many as an alternative national anthem.

Smithsonian Folkways - Tools for Teaching provides teaching materials in history, geography, language arts, social studies, visual arts, music, and dance to use with music on the website. Music can be searched by artist, album, or track or browsed by genre.

Teachers can search a world map or browse albums organized by continent for Lessons & Activities to find curricular materials. All lessons are in PDF format. With Experiences with Ghanaian Music for Middle School General Music Students (PDF icon PDF, 457 KB, 9 pgs.) students in grades 6-8 explore the music of Ghana by listening and through movement, game play, and percussion performance. In Pacific Islander Songs, Sounds, and Signals: Musics of Samoa, Fiji, and Tonga (PDF icon PDF, 699 KB, 7 pgs.) students in grades 3-5 explore the instruments and music of the Pacific islands and compare them to other cultures. In An Exploratory Short Course in Tuvan Throat Singing (PDF icon PDF, 264 KB, 6 pgs.) students in grades 9-12 are introduced to "throat singing," or overtone singing, as performed by the people of Tuva. All lessons link to necessary materials and videos.

Interactive Features are games and activities exploring jazz and Latin American music for students in grades K-12. In Música del Pueblo (Música del Pueblo) students can learn about Puerto Rican bomba, plena, and jíbaro music, South Texas conjunto, Mexican mariachi music, Mexican huasteco, jarocho, and Michoacán Tierra Caliente son, Afro Cuban sacred music, Colombian vallenato, Dominican merengue típico, Salvadoran chanchona music, corridos, Guatemalan marimba music, Chilean nueva canción, and Latino hip-hop.

Workshops for Teachers have been held at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle, WA for the last five years. Interested teachers should stay tuned for announcements about future workshops.

Additional Materials links to nine other websites with information on using music in the classroom.



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