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Lesson Two: How can we represent sounds that are in the environment?


Animals communicate using sounds. Animal vocalizations can represent calls, hollers and/or songs. Some animals have deeper sounds and create lower sounding calls or songs. Others have higher sounding pitches. Animals create certain vocalizations based on environmental factors.

Learning Outcomes:

The students will recognize that animals communicate with various sounds and pitches. The students will identify the difference between high and low pitches. The student will represent the sounds aurally, graphically and kinesthetically.

Curriculum Alignment:

Content Standard A: Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry

  • Understanding about scientific inquiry.
  • Employ simple equipment and tools to gather data and extend the senses.

Content Standard B: Physical Science

  • Sound is produced by vibrating objects. The pitch of the sound can be varied by changing the rate of vibration.

Content Standard C: Life Science

  • The characteristics of organisms
  • Organisms and their environments

Content Standard E: Science and Technology

  • Abilities of technological design
  • Understanding about science and technology
  • Abilities to distinguish between natural objects and objects made by humans.

NCSCOS Music Objectives

Goal 2: The learner will play on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music. (National Standard 2)

  • 2.02 Play with rhythmic accuracy.
  • 2.03 Play with appropriate posture and technique.
  • 2.05 Play independent instrumental parts while others sing and/or play rhythmic, melodic, or harmonic parts.
  • 2.08 Show respect for the playing efforts of others.

Goal 3: The learner will improvise melodies, variations, and accompaniments. (National Standard 3)

  • 3.02 Improvise simple rhythmic and melodic ostinato accompaniments.
  • 3.06 Show respect for the improvisational efforts of others.

Goal 4: The learner will compose and arrange music within specified guidelines. (National Standard 4)

  • 4.03 Arrange simple compositions for voices or instruments.
  • 4.05 Show respect for the compositions and arrangements of others.

Goal 5: The learner will read and notate music. (National Standard 5)

  • 5.04 Use standard symbols to notate meter, rhythm, pitch, and dynamics in simple musical patterns.
  • 5.05 Show respect for the reading and notating efforts of others.

Goal 7: The learner will evaluate music and music performances. (National Standard 7)

  • 7.01 Devise and use criteria for evaluating performances and compositions of self and others.
  • 7.03 Show respect for the musical efforts and opinions of others.

Goal 8: The learner will understand relationships between music, the other arts, and content areas outside the arts. (National Standard 8)

  • 8.01 Identify similarities and differences in the meanings of common terms used in the other arts.
  • 8.02 Identify ways in which the principles and subject matter of other content areas taught in the school are related to those of music.

Interdisciplinary Connections

NC SCOS Dance Objectives

Goal 2: The learner will understand choreographic principles, processes, and structures. (National Standard 2)

  • 2.01 Use improvisation to discover and invent dance.
  • 2.04 Improvise, create, and perform dances based on own ideas and concepts from other sources.
  • 2.05 Create a dance phrase, accurately repeat it, then vary it by making changes in the elements of dance.

Goal 3: The learner will understand that dance can create and communicate meaning. (National Standard 3)

  • 3.01 Create and present simple dance sequences that convey meaning.

Goal 7: The learner will make connections between dance and other content areas. (National Standard 7)

  • 7.01 Identify concepts which occur between dance and other content areas including English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Music, Theatre Arts, and Visual Arts.
  • 7.02 Create a dance sequence that demonstrates understanding of a concept or idea from another content area.


One 60 minute period


  • Various rhythm and melody instruments
  • Large and small stickers
  • Two frog call recordings
  • Venn diagram
  • Manuscript paper

Technology Resources:



Read students a book about frogs and ask students what kind of sounds frogs make? Ask them how they can represent frog sounds?


Listen to the Spring Peeper frog and the Bullfrog recordings. Have students write descriptive words about each frog’s call. Ask students how they could represent the sounds of the frogs without using words. Allow students to listen to the call several times and take suggestions from the students about how they will represent the sounds. Offer students the use of small and large stickers. Ask students to make a representation of the Spring Peepers call and the Bullfrogs call using only the stickers. Using music manuscript paper have students notate rhythmic and melodic representations of the sounds. Melodic notations may replicate high and low pitch instead of actual melodic notes or intervals. Rhythmic notations should accurately depict rhythmic patterns of the frog song.


Have students explain their representations in their notebooks and share with a partner. Have students play notated rhythmic patterns for accuracy. Discuss why the small and large stickers were chosen. Discuss the correlation between the small stickers and the higher pitches/notes and the large stickers and the lower pitches/notes. Specify that high and low pitch is different than high (loud) and low (soft) in dynamics (volume). Students will distinguish the difference in frequencies and loudness.


Have students use melodic instruments to distinguish differences in pitch. Students will utilize melody bells, glockenspiels, metallaphones and/or xylophones (any instrument discriminative of pitch may be used) to identify high/ low pitches and replicate the sounds of the Spring Peeper frog and Bullfrog recordings. Model representations with stickers. Let them demonstrate their musical representations to the class. Facilitate student discussion on what they heard. Discuss how individual performances resemble and differ. Discuss call and response. Identify which recordings used call and response, solo and/or a duet. Correlate connections of rhythm, melody and how they establish patterns. Create a short composition of melodic and rhythmic ostinatos from student improvisations. Divide students into five sections/groups (A,B,C,D,E). Group A will represent the melodic call of the Spring Peeper frog, Group B - melodic call of the Bullfrog, Group C - rhythmic pattern of the Spring Peeper frog call, Group D - rhythmic pattern of the Bullfrog while Group E will continuously play the steady beat. Groups C,D and E will play their ostinatos for 4 measures in 4/4 time signature. Groups A and B will replicate the frog’s call by playing their pattern for 2 measures then play the melodic pattern in reverse for 2 measures. This altered pattern will create an original composition. Students can elaborate on how individual sounds collaboratively create harmonious music. Students may rotate the group assignments if time permits.


Venn diagram comparing the Spring Peeper and Bullfrog sound. Evaluate individual and group performances.


Students will incorporate locomotor and non-locomotor movement to represent high and low pitches. Movement should reflect high, medium and low levels of the dance curriculum. Encourage students to “travel” thru their personal and general space. Students will utilize the previous 5 group/section concept and apply it to kinesthetic movement to imitate the sounds of the Spring Peeper frog and the Bullfrog. Groups A and B will express their melodic sounds through locomotor movement. Groups C and D will portray their rhythmic sounds through locomotor movement. Group E will create non-locomotor movements to replicate the steady beat. Kinesthetic representations should emphasize the actual movement of sound instead of the animal. As groups share their improvisations “thread” the groups choreography to create a kinesthetic soundscape.

Suggested musical CD:

Solitudes Frog Song Nature Sound Recordings by Dan Gibson


  • Animal sound substitutions
  • Pattern blocks instead of stickers.


  • Frog calls, spring peeper, bullfrog, representation
  • Time signature — notational convention used in Western musical notation to specify how many beats are in each measure and what note value constitutes one beat
  • Pitch — the highness or lowness of a tone, as determined by the frequency of vibrations per second
  • Pattern — proposed for imitation; that which is to be, or is worthy to be, copied or imitated
  • Melody — musical sounds in agreeable succession of single notes or arrangement
  • Rhythm — the organization of sounds and silences across time; the temporal quality of sound
  • Ostinato — a continually recurring rhythmic or melodic pattern
  • Improvisation — spontaneous music
  • Interval — the relationship among pitches (e.g. C4 and E4 produce a Major 3rd)
  • Harmony — two or more tones sounding together
  • Composition — the product of creating music
  • Standard or Traditional Notation: Music written on one or more staves, using traditional note symbols and clefs to indicate pitch locations and durations
  • Notation — the use of various symbols to indicate the pitch, rhythm, and expressive elements of a composition
  • Measure — segment of time defined as a given number of beats of a given duration in music notation
  • Steady beat — rhythmic pulse of music
  • Call and response – a song style that follows a simple question-and-answer pattern in which a soloist leads and a group responds
  • Solo – a musical composition or piece for one performer
  • Duet — a musical composition or piece for two performers
  • Personal space – the "space bubble" or the kinesphere that one occupies; it includes all levels, planes, and directions, both near and far from the body's center
  • General space – a defined area of space through which dancers can travel using all the available space
  • Locomotor movement — movement that travels from place to place, usually identified by weight transference. Basic locomotor movements are walk, run, leap, hop, jump, skip, slide, and gallop
  • Non-locomotor movement — any movement that does not travel, but uses the available space in any direction or movement organized around the axis of the body (axial movement). Bending, twisting, stretching, and swinging are examples of axial movement