Creating arts integration lessons for language standards can be tough. Many of the E/LA standards connecting to language are fairly dry: nouns, verbs, apostrophes, etc. Very few arts concepts and areas naturally align with these constructs or make an elegant fit.
However, one of these conventions actually makes a beautiful artistic fit: predicates. A predicate indicates the end of a sentence. It’s the way you know that a sentence is complete. When my daughter brought home her assignment for identifying and writing predicates, she started to get a little confused. As I was helping her, I started to think of something that we could relate a predicate to that might help her. Immediately, I thought of cadences.
A cadence is a sequence of notes or chords that indicate the end of a musical phrase. If you listen to any piece of music, you’ll hear a natural cadence (usually that falls rather than rises) at the end of each line. This is a cadence. What a perfect connection to predicates!
This lesson connects the E/LA and Music Standards that make this a good fit. It also shares the steps to using these two ideas to teach each concept in your classroom. Essentially, you’ll be reviewing the terms Predicate and Cadence, and then having students practice identifying each with a sentence or phrase.
Then, you’ll break the sentences up and mix them around. Have students find the matches and put them together. You can do the same thing with the music. Either use the actual sheet music and cut up each phrase, or have students listen to sound examples and match each sound example to its beginning and cadence.
The key here is that this is a natural fit. Neither the E/LA concept or the Music concept is in service to the other. Instead, they work together towards the same goal.
For more arts integration lessons like this, be sure to visit our Lessons Page here.
Susan Riley is the founder and President of EducationCloset.com. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.