Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Guest Poster, More Time 2 Teach: Teach Mood with Music and Caricatures

Hi there, everybody! My name is Melissa from More Time 2 Teach and I’m in the best mood ever because I’m today’s guest blogger. Let me begin by introducing myself. I am a 3rd grade teacher from Florida. I’ve been teaching for the past 15 years and am always looking for ways to engage my students. One of the ways I’ve discovered to excite my 3rd graders, is by using the 3 lessons I'm going to share with you today that use music and art to teach them about mood. (You can grab your FREE copy by clicking here.)

Music in itself is a powerful  force that takes center stage in our everyday lives. I mean how many times have you turned on the radio or music to help relax or turned to a certain song on your iPod when you were feeling excited or depressed?  Or perhaps you’ve even used music to study? I remember as a child using songs to help me learn my vocabulary words and their synonyms. Let’s face it, music is already a HUGE part of our student’s personal lives, so why not use it in the classroom to liven up a lesson?

I began my mood lesson by introducing the word and its meaning. 
We then discussed ways that books, art, and music have made them feel. Next, we began lesson #1, a listening activity in which I played a minute of four VERY different songs while the students drew a picture of how each song made them feel. (I recommend using the versions of songs that don’t include the words. If you’re having a hard time, just search under karaoke.) A great website that I came across is TV Tunes Online. At this site you can download theme songs from TV shows or cartoons.

I played each song 3 times. The first time, my kiddos simply listened to the music. The second time they began their illustrations, and by the third go around most of them were finished. After each song they shared their pictures and discussed how they felt. Take a look at some more of their drawings…

Here’s a picture of the list we came up with to describe each song. This helped us in determining the mood. I was impressed by some of their answers…

My next lesson was to help them “see” the connection between music and words. I wanted them to understand that like the notes musicians play, the words that authors carefully select and write down on paper can move audiences and influence our moods… Hence lesson #2 was born.

For this lesson, students worked with partners. I also had this reference sheet that I found on Pinterest of different feelings up on my Smart Board. We discussed how certain facial features such as where a person’s eyes are looking or if someone’s eyebrows are V-shaped give clues as to a person’s mood. The children were fascinated by each of the caricatures and asked for clarification on a few such as why is the overwhelmed kid sticking his tongue out. (Fair question I thought.)

Lesson #3 was called “Guess My Mood”. I gave each child a small card with a different mood on it. Some were positive mood words and others negative.  Students were then asked to write a short paragraph about a character that was feeling that way. They would then sketch in the facial expressions. When all of the descriptions were complete, we played “Guess My Mood”. Students read their descriptions without revealing their sketches while their classmates tried to guess the correct mood. If the class needed some more clues then the student revealed their sketch.
By the end of our 3 lessons,I felt my students had gained a better understanding of how paying attention to details whether it be in music, sketches, or in writing could help them pinpoint different moods. Our next step is to transfer the knowledge gained from these lessons onto literature.
I hope I’ve given you a different perspective to teaching mood and are leaving here with a few ideas and resources to try out with your students. 
Let me ask you now, what has influenced YOUR mood today?
Happy teaching,
Feel free to snag ALL of the lessons from my mood unit for FREE at my TPT store. I’d also love for you to stop by and visit me at my blog www.moretime2teach.blogspot.com to see what other strategies I have waiting for you.


  1. Great lesson Melissa! I really like how explicit you were in your instruction. I think the connection to music was a fantastic idea. I would love to incorporate this when I am working on mood in poetry next year. Thanks for sharing!

    Eclectic Educating

  2. I love this lesson Melissa! Teaching mood to students in upper level grades can be rather challenging, and I had never thought to use music first. Such a great idea!! Thanks sooooo much for sharing!

    Mind Sparks

  3. Thank you ladies! We really had a great time with these lessons and I'm glad I was able to share them with you. It's amazing how something so simple as adding music to a lesson can change the entire dynamics of what you're trying to get your students to understand.
    Thanks again,
    :0) Melissa

  4. Melissa!! Really loved your article and I appreciate your music choice. I want to share some of best theme songs that are my all time favorite. Cheers, small wonder and The Ropers.

  5. The style for teaching is different by different teachers. Many teachers make lot of attraction in their studies students rely enjoy as they make complete absorption of best essay services review for the students in the studies. The music and cartons make it lot of attraction for the studies.

  6. I am really excited to use this set of lessons this week in my classes. I teach elementary music K-8. This will work for each age group splendidly, with a few tweaks for age ability. I will try to let you know how it goes! Thanks for the resource!


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