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Understanding By Design Unit Template

Title of Unit American Music through the Decades Grade Level 5

Curriculum Area Music History Time Frame 8 weeks
Developed By Victoria Scheirer
Identify Desired Results (Stage 1)
Content Standards
Listening to, analyzing, and describing music.
Evaluating music and music performances.
Understanding music in relation to history and culture.

Understandings Essential Questions
Overarching Understanding Overarching Topical
Students will understand that the variety of musical styles we have today
grew out of the musical styles from our shared history.

How does the music of our history
affect your music of today?
What can we learn from our
musical history? Is it relevant to us?
What influence did blues have on
How did ragtime inform musicals of
What similarities and differences
can we determine in rock, soft
rock, and punk rock?
Related Misconceptions
Students will understand that though we classify music into different genres
or styles, they do share some common traits

Students will know the major musical styles and artists of the decades
between 1900 and 2000.
Students will be able to recognize those musical styles and performers

Assessment Evidence (Stage 2)
Performance Task Description
Goal Present a paper on a musician of the students choice
Role To learn about one musicians relation to the history we learned
Audience Music class
Situation Present in the front of the class with a visual
Product/Performance Presentation
Standards Understanding music in relation to history and culture.
Other Evidence
Two written quizzes with aural examples and short answer questions. Students will also form groups to make new lyrics to a song.
Learning Plan (Stage 3)
Where are your students headed? Where have
they been? How will you make sure the
students know where they are going?
We will work our way from 1900-2000, recapping each previous lesson at the start of a new
lesson with a quick musical example quiz.
How will you hook students at the beginning of
the unit?
Playing music they may not have heard and inviting students to share what they know or think
of when they think of a particular decade.
What events will help students experience and
explore the big idea and questions in the unit?
How will you equip them with needed skills and
Watching videos of live performances of these musicians will give us an idea of what it was like
to see them perform. We will spend time exploring the musical styles and adding them to our
How will you cause students to reflect and
rethink? How will you guide them in rehearsing,
revising, and refining their work?
At the end of every lesson, we will take time to discuss how this is relevant to us. What
musicians that you know and love were influenced by this style?
How will you help students to exhibit and self-
evaluate their growing skills, knowledge, and
understanding throughout the unit?
A practice quiz and/or review game helps students to realize which answers they know right
away and which didnt stick.
How will you tailor and otherwise personalize
the learning plan to optimize the engagement
and effectiveness of ALL students, without
compromising the goals of the unit?
I know some of my classes are quieter than others. They would prefer to work quietly in pairs
while other classes have no problem making a performance in front of the class. We may
change some of the day to day activities that will still achieve the learning goal for the day.
How will you organize and sequence the
learning activities to optimize the engagement
and achievement of ALL students?
Not staying on one activity for too longwe will have several tasks to complete in one class
period which will help keep everyone engaged.

From: Wiggins, Grant and J. Mc Tighe. (1998). Understanding by Design, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
ISBN # 0-87120-313-8 (ppk)