Overview: Using program music of Grieg and Michael Jackson’s Thriller to explore characters, setting and plot in Reading.

Fine Arts Standard: Music. Listen to and describe musical examples that represent styles and traditions from various historical periods and world cultures

Common Core Reading StandardELA-Literacy.RL.2.7 Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

Grades: 2-3


We’re well into the swing of fall and one of my favorite seasons for music integration!  This month brings with it so many rich musical interpretations of Halloween and Harvest and this month, we’re committed to sharing these connections with our weekly lesson seeds.  This week, we’re taking a look at how the program music of Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King from Peer Gynt can intersect with Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Common Core Reading Standards for 2nd grade.

If you look at the reading standard we’re addressing in this arts integration lesson seed, you’ll notice that we’re referencing how to use information from a piece of print or digital text to demonstrate understanding.  Please keep in mind that we align our interpretation of literacy standards with the National Coalition of Core Arts Standards philosophy that you can use fine arts compositions as text.

This means that we are using the program music within the lesson as the piece of text and asking students to use information from the elements of music demonstrated in the piece as a way to demonstrate their understanding of the meaning of the composition itself.

Do you have a favorite Halloween lesson or story?

What music do you use to enhance or deepen student learning during this time of year?