Words & Music
Welcome to Words & Music: Teach Language Arts Through Lyric Writing. This unit plan helps your class explore the art of lyric writing through ten complete lessons. Aligned with Common Core Standards, this interdisciplinary unit also can be tied to math, music, social studies, and visual arts.
The lessons in this guide are designed to encourage collaborative, exploratory learning that can be tailored to a variety of learning styles and levels. Whenever possible, students should be encouraged to try new ideas and share them with one another.
The Words & Music unit is composed of ten 45-minute lessons. The lessons are cumulative, each one building on the next. The final project, writing a polished set of lyrics, combines everything students have learned in previous lessons. Final lyrics are sent to the museum to share with a professional songwriter, who will select a few works to set to music. Ultimately, students will hear the songwriter perform some lyrics as finished songs.
Though lyric writing is short-form creative writing, it requires no less ability than any other kind of creative writing. Of course, it also is just part of the task of songwriting, along with musical composition. Students will gain a firsthand knowledge of the skill necessary to craft art that is memorable, evocative, and appealing—a skill that, in the hands of a seasoned lyricist, can create great music.
Prior to teaching Words & Music for the first time, teachers are strongly encouraged to attend a Words & Music professional development training.