All Around My Voice Lesson # 1 Approximately 260 minutes

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Title: All Around My Voice Lesson # 1

Approximately 260 minutes

Grade 1 Unit

Listen Up!”

Critical Learning

Guiding Questions

The voice (spoken and sung) can be used for a variety of effective purposes, such as creating mood and evoking feeling.
The Creative Process ( is the way composers create new music.
Each stage of The Creative Process is important in order to select and use a variety of vocal sounds that will enhance the performance of songs and chants.
The singing voice (clear, pure head tone) can be differentiated from the speaking voice.

How can you use your voice to make the sound of [an animal, fire engine, etc.]?
How can you use your [teeth, throat, lips, tongue] to make different sound effects?
How do composers create new music?
Why do we explore and experiment with sounds before choosing which ones to use in our performance?
What are some ways that we can perform a chant to tell someone how we’re feeling, e.g. excited, happy, angry?

Where does your speaking voice live?

Where does your singing voice live?

Curriculum Expectations Unpacked Expectations

C1. Creating and Performing: apply The Creative Process to create and perform music for a variety of purposes, using the elements and techniques of music.

C1.1 sing songs in unison and play simple accompaniments for music from a wide variety of diverse cultures, styles, and historical periods.

C1.4   use the tools and techniques of musicianship in musical performances.
C2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process to communicate their feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of music and musical experiences.

C2.1 express initial reactions and personal responses to musical performances in a variety of ways.

C3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of musical genres and styles from the past and present, and their social and/or community contexts.

C3.1 identify and describe musical experiences in their own lives.

Learning Goals

At the end of this lesson, students will be able to say: At the end of this lesson I can: 

  • use my voice in different ways;

  • decide which elements of music we can use to make a performance interesting;

  • tell the difference between my speaking voice and my singing voice;

  • make a good singing sound; and

  • show and describe how the music we perform makes me feel.

Instructional Components and Context


Exposure to different sounds in their daily lives, such as sounds of nature, the community, and home environment.
Exposure to stories and poems with rich text and vocal range such as “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”, etc.
Exposure to call and response, singing games, and speaking games.


Call and Response

Head Tone

Melody Map



Tone Colour




Chart paper/markers

Think-Pair-Share Strategy

( p. 25

“Ears Hear”
Songs & Singing Games

“Doggie Doggie Where's Your Bone” at (this link contains the sound recognition style of the singing game)

“Doggie Doggie Where's Your Bone” p.8 in: 

Gagne, D. (1997), Singing Games Children Love. Red Deer, AB: Themes & Variations Publications

“Old MacDonald Had a Farm”

This song is in the public domain and, if unknown to the teacher, is readily available through an online search. (e.g. Google, Yahoo etc.)

Grandma Moses” p. 216 (p. 214, 215, 217 has teaching suggestions)

Schafer, P., & Stack, Y. (1991). Musicanada

1. Toronto: Holt, Rinehart & Winston

AND (scroll half way down page – this site has the music, teaching suggestions, and MP3 recording)

CD player, or other system to play recordings if needed

Minds On Approximately 60 minutes

Pause and Ponder

Whole Class > Think/Pair/Share

Introduce the poem, “Ears Hear”, having students speak the descriptive words for the sounds which are identified (buzz, roar, hiss, etc.).

Have students listen for a sound they would like to make and experiment individually.
Teacher Prompts:

How does your (tongue, teeth, lips) help you to make the sound of a…bee, etc?”

Name one way you could describe a lion’s roar, bird’s tweet, etc.” (such as loud, rough, high, etc.)
Think-Pair-Share: Have students select a sound from the poem to share with a partner and identify each others’ sounds.
Read the poem with space (learning silences) for student demonstrations of the sounds.

Differentiated Instruction (D.I.)

Think/Pair/Share may require careful selection of pairs by the teacher.

Plan different ways and means of involving individual students. Some will be comfortable using their voices in a variety of ways. Others may be reluctant, but can remain engaged by clapping the steady beat, for example.

Action! Approximately 80 minutes

Assessment for Learning:

Teacher assessment of comparing/contrasting sound quality; Teacher Resource 3 Vocal Sounds Criteria Checklist

Checkpoint #1:

Teacher, through observation, will assess students' ability to describe and perform a variety of sounds with their voices.

Students self-assess and teacher assesses the students' ability to differentiate between their singing and speaking voice and to use a singing voice (head tone) when performing simple songs.
Assessment for Learning (AfL):

Peer: describe the tone colour/timbre of each other’s voice, e.g., How did you know it was (name) who stole your bone?

Teacher: observe, record, and/or provide feedback on students’

-use of head tone

-in-tune singing (pitch)

-ability to hear different vocal timbres

-ability to explain the different timbres, e.g., How did you know it was (name) who stole your bone?

Whole Class > Activate Prior Learning

Build a repertoire of sounds by asking students to imagine familiar sounds and where they have heard those sounds.

Generate categorical lists of sounds grouped by commonalities of the source of the sounds…zoo, home, etc.).
Teacher Prompts:

What familiar sounds do you hear when…

  • you go to the zoo?

  • you play in the yard at recess?

  • you get up in the morning?” etc.

What is the difference in the sound of a… e.g., bus/car, cat/cow, etc.?

Try being a kind gentle lady, a mean grouch, etc., and describe how their voices might differ.

Whole Class > Individual

Teach the song, “Grandma Moses”, with the teacher demonstrating by singing the song and speaking the parts of the text where it indicates what the Dr. actually said.

Teacher Prompts: How does this song make you feel? Why?
Have students sing the sung parts of the song only while the teacher speaks the spoken text.
Have the class sing the parts of the song in their heads (internalize) and

i) speak out loud only the spoken words (internalizing the sung portions) then; and

ii) sing out loud only the melodic (sung) parts (internalizing the spoken words).

Have the class speak the Dr.’s words while the teacher sings the song.

Divide the class in two and have one half perform the singing parts while the other performs the spoken parts. Switch.
Individual children can speak the Dr.’s words using their own “Dr. voice.”
Teacher Tip: Have children place their hands flat on their upper chests while they speak the spoken parts and then when they sing the melodic parts. They should be able to feel the chest vibrations when they speak, coming to the conclusion that their speaking voices are their chest voices.

The singing voice can often be felt at this age by placing the fingers on the top of the head. Because the singing voice requires development of head tone, it is often referred to as the “head voice”.

Consolidation Approximately 120 minutes

Whole Class

Through further brainstorming generate other lists of sounds based on the qualities of sound, such as high/low, smooth/rough, fast/slow, etc.

Have children enact the song, “Grandma Moses”, with students singing and speaking the roles and then create a melody map, e.g., Teacher Resource 1 Melody Map of this and other familiar songs.
Enact other songs, such as “Old MacDonald” with children replicating the different animal sounds.
Teacher Prompts: How do you think the actions we have added to the songs help tell the stories? How do the sound effects (e.g., animal sounds) we performed with the songs and poems help tell the stories? Why? How do sounds give us information about a place we might be visiting?
Use “internalization” (see Action! above in “Grandma Moses”) for many other songs. In “Old MacDonald”, for example, have students sing it in this manner…GREEN = sing out loud and RED = sing in their heads.
Teacher Tip: It can help to have children put their hands over their mouths – as does the teacher – when internalizing parts of a song.
Old Mac Donald had a farm


And on that farm he had a (name of animal)


…sing the remainder of the song out loud while individuals make the animal sounds. As they learn a song well and gain experience in internalizing, make it a bit more challenging by leaving out more and more.

Traffic Light: While singing a familiar song, switch from singing to speaking voice as the teacher indicates with a green (sing) and a red (speak) signal. (coloured sheets of paper, paper flag, mitt, traffic light, etc.)
Play “Doggie Doggie”. Teacher Resource 2 Doggie Doggie Instead of having the “doggie” guess who has the bone, have the child with the bone sing “I have your bone” while the “doggie” remains facing away from the class. The “doggie” then determines who has his bone on voice recognition.
Teacher Tips: This singing game has excellent learning opportunities:

  • Vocal timbre (tone) recognition;

  • Developing the singing voice; and

  • Use of so-mi and so-la-mi--the first three solfege syllables introduced.

Grade 1 Listen Up! Lesson 1

Ontario Music Educators’ Association

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