Dyan Branstetter | June 2016

STEAM Integration Unit: Joyful Noise Poems for 2 Voices

Music and poetry have a natural connection, and they are explored together in the brand new unit, Joyful Noise. In this unit, students are challenged in the area of reading fluency. Each poem in the book Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleishman contains complex phrases and multisyllabic words. Each poem is also devoted to a different insect, and many of the poems evoke the sound of that insect.

The most wonderful part of the joyful noise of poetry is that the poems cannot be fully realized without a partner. Similar to a duet between instruments, each with unisons and independent lines of music, these poems require students to read together and separately, creating a very musical exercise for the brain.

Throughout this STEAM integration unit, students learn to read duet poetry, research an insect, and work to clarify words and phrases for pronunciation and meaning. Students work together to match expression and pace to the mood of the joyful noise poem to help listeners better understand the meaning of the words.

Due to the musical nature of the poetry and the elegant illustrations, it seems natural to pair this project with classical music. I’ve pulled together an assortment of songs from many different time periods that are inspired by insects. As a culminating project, students perform the poetry, interspersed with classical music. Student announcers introduce and explain the music’s relationship to the insect world.

Nearly all the resources you need for this STEAM integration unit – from teacher guides to student activities, from assessments to music selections – are here for you to access.

As with all of our STEAM integration units, this is FREE for you to use and avail of.  You’ll just need to either login or register to an account in order to access the whole unit.

About the Author

Dyan is a fifth grade teacher in a public school district in Lancaster, PA and has over 16 years of classroom experience. With a Masters of Science Education and a passion for dance and music, she strives to integrate the arts into the curriculum whenever possible. Dyan has a background in teaching advanced learners, and is devoted to using project based learning to help her students achieve 21st century learning skills and master the PA Core Standards.