Cross-Curricular Connections: Music and Language Arts

by Abby @ Quaver on November 29, 2012

in In the Quaver Classroom!

Looking to connect your lesson plans with other subjects your students study?

Many states and districts encourage or require teachers to make these Cross Curricular Connections – so we’re here to help you see them!

Cross Curricular Connections


Let’s get started with Cross-Curricular Connections in Music & Language Arts

In Quaver’s School Program:

  • In your Online Quaver Classrooms:

Every classroom now contains two levels of Q-Libs – students choose important words from the lesson or wacky words to complete sentences! Younger students in Level 1 can choose pictures. This is a great Language Arts and comprehension exercise.

Check out the Dynamics classroom for an IWB activity specifically created for Cross Curricular Connections with Language Arts:

Ideas to get you started:

  • Read the poem together.
  • Talk about the dynamics of different lines and why they might be LOUDER or SOFTER.
  • What dynamic terms do they represent?
  • Move the lines around to change the story and talk about what changed.

The sky’s the limit! Let us know what you’ve tried with your classes in the comments!

  • Also be sure to check your Teacher’s Guides:

We’ve listed a slew of activities under the heading -Language Arts- in the Teacher’s Guides for the following episodes:

  1. Meter
  2. Rhythm
  3. The Musical Alphabet
  4. Lines & Spaces


Extension Activity Ideas from Quaver Teachers:

  • Music is a Universal Language

Marcus Johnson of Texas hits the nail on the head with the key connection between Music and Language Arts:

“One of the things I do is communicate to the students how music is its own language that every culture in the world understands because the “rules” of music are the same. Once the students understand the ‘rules,’ they’ll be able to read, write, play, or sing any piece of music.

  • Songwriting & Books

We’ve heard from lots of teachers who use books and the spoken word to talk about rhythm, patterns, syllables, and rhyming. 

Valerie Leroy of Florida says:

“I love using books, especially ones with repeated phrases, for rhythm lessons. I also have my students write songs. We used the Blues episode to introduce our song writing unit this year. This was also the beginning of the big 4th grade research/technology project!”

Rita Black of Tennessee brings the stories to life with music:

“I assign short rhythmic and/or melodic ostinatos to certain characters or events in the story. Then when students hear these mentioned this is their cue to sing and/or play. Periods are assigned a triangle, and students watch and listen for ends of sentences/phrases then relate this to musical phrasing.”

Jon Oliver of Kentucky focuses on Musical Children’s Literature:

There are great pieces that can be used for a variety of concepts – Grieg’s “Peer Gynt,” Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf,” Saint-Saens’ “Carnival of the Animals,” Bizet’s “Children’s Games,” Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” just to name a few!

Tammy Thiele of Texas

“I relate syllables to rhythms. In a joint project with the classroom teacher, my 1st graders will be taking a simple poem or rhyme and adding simple rhythms to accompany it. I have 3rd grade students create movement and instrumental sounds in small groups to accompany a haiku. Nursery rhymes can be transferred to simple solfege and Orff patterns.”

Catie Dwinal of New Hampshire also uses books from her school library to connect Language Arts and Music:

“We talk about syllabication of the words and the connection to duration of notes and reading a sentence. Sometimes we turn selected sentences into mini raps, adding rhythms to them and saying the words to the beat.”

  • Four Square Writing

Sarah Jensen of North Dakota shares this example from her classroom. Sarah has her students write about Woodwind Instruments after watching the Woodwind episode from Quaver’s School Program.

“It has been a great way to get kids to write more on any kind of topic, from PE to music! The topic sentence goes in the middle and then you write a supporting sentence in each box. For larger projects, you can make topics sentences out of the 4 original supporting sentences and create paragraphs from them. We have done this after watching ALL the Quaver Instrument DVDs.

Click the image Download Sarah’s Example:


As we dig into the Common Core State Standards and look ahead to the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards, we believe projects and resources like these will help teachers meet the goals set for integrating multiple disciplines in the music classroom.

How do you connect Music with Language Arts in your classroom? Share your ideas below!

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