Here's part 2 of my Planets Unit post! Check out PART ONE (which included a Smartboard intro activity to the piece and a funny Holst video) .
During the next class, I had students write a paragraph about Holst. They prepared for this by doing their web hunt (from Part 1), watching my biographical video and doing their own research at home.
During this same class, we listening more closely to Mars and Venus. You all have to check out Sofia Lopez-Ibor's latest resource entitled, "Blue is the Sea" if you haven't already. It is amazing and has a section on teaching students about The Planets! In her book she includes a chart for students to fill out as they listen to Mars and Venus.
Buy it HERE!
I adapted the chart to suit our goals. I found that the chart really prepared students for our art and listening activity. It made the kids think about movement, instrumentation, emotion, etc. in connection with the pieces.
For the next few classes we embarked on a music and art adventure! Since reading "Blue is the Sea", I have really integrated much more art, as well as movement, into my teaching! Lopez-Ibor integrats art so seamlessly into her teaching. I love it! So, while listening to "Mars", students painted abstract art to portray what they heard, felt and thought of from the music. They did the same while listening to "Venus" and painted on the other half of their page.
This is what they came up with:
It was pretty funny because most of them think "good" art as being concrete and realistic. This was hard for many of them to just let go and paint what they hear, feel and think, instead of what they see.
I found a super cool art project from Katie at Adventures of an Art Teacher. I adapted it a tiny bit for us. Students chose their favourite part of each of the two paintings and traced a circle, then cut it out. The circles were pasted onto black construction paper. Students embellished there background with oil pastels, making it look like planets in outer space.
It was super neat when the kids were adding details because they had so much fresh knowledge from their Science unit!
This student's painted planets really portray the peaceful serenity of the Venus movement and the contrasting red, fiery chaos of the Mars movement.
As a wrap up assignment, I had students listen to the two movements a final time and reflect on which piece they liked best and why. Because we had explored the music in unique ways, the kids had much to say!
It was so cool watching music, visual art and science come together so beautifully.