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Elements of Media- Music

Main Core Tie

Elementary Library Media (K-5)
Strand 10 Standard 2

Additional Core Ties

Elementary Library Media (K-5)
Strand 11 Standard 1

Time Frame

1 class periods of 30 minutes each

Life Skills

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Communication


Katelyn Ballif


Grades 3-5
The lesson focuses on the importance of music in media.



Speakers/Sound Capability
Computer with two tabs or windows open to the Selling With a Song and Movie Soundtrack-Artopia pages open.

Background for Teachers

Familiarize yourself with the two websites.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will understand how music in media effects how they view the message. Students can choose music that supports the message being sent.

Instructional Procedures

Review with students various types of media (commercials and other advertising, tv shows, movies, video games, etc.) Explain that media is constructed or made for a certain purpose, to persuade, inform, and/or entertain (PIE); and that today you will be focusing on how music is used to enhance a message and/or grab attention.

Give some examples of jingles or songs students might be familiar with that are connected with ads, think of local radio advertisements or tv commercials. Discuss that the ads use those jingles or songs to try to help people remember their business or product.

Discuss with students how movies, tv shows, video games, etc. use music to create a certain mood or feeling. Ask "Who can tell when something scary is about to happen just because the music changed?" "When you play a video game does the music sometimes change to let you know your character is weak or that something might be close by?" A favorite to bring up is the classic shark theme from the movie Jaws, something as simple as two notes can invoke terror.

Grades 3-4 Activity
Take the students to the "Selling with a Song," interactive on the first link. Start with the sneakers, have them view the images for the commercial and inform them that they will be listening to songs and deciding which one would work with the commercial the best. They aren't voting for their favorite but which one fits. Play each of the listed songs and then have the students vote on which one they would choose. Either as you are playing them or after you have voted ask the students how specific song clips made them feel. Ex: The William Tell Overture often makes students think of a horse race which doesn't fit with the images. Sometimes you will need to listen to the whole music clip to understand why it might be the best fit (with the back pack commercial you should listen to all of "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," but I don't usually have them listen to all of "Juicebox").

Grade 5 Activity
Go to the second link and click on "Go To Interactive." Before doing this activity you may want to watch the movie "Charade" on your own, so you can explain the scene that is shown. Even though a short description of the film is given, I found that it helped my students to also watch the scene first and go over what was happening before adding in the music. Explain to students that they will be watching a scene from an old film titled "Charade," and they will see how changing the music changes the whole feel of what is happening. Watch the scene without music and then restart the scene for each type of music, you don't show them the whole scene for each type but it is good to restart the scene so they all start at the same place. Ask how the various music types make them feel, if students are finding it hard to describe it for you maybe bring up the following: big band and jazz make the scene feel more like they are getting ready for a date, baroque makes it feel like they should be in a fancy restaurant, the pop/dance music makes it feel a little like a spy/action film.

After the activity review the objectives.

Assessment Plan

On small slips of paper have students either write down their favorite part of the lesson or an example from their life where they have noticed the effect of music. Use these as exit slips, to be turned in before students go to check out books or leave the library.


Created: 06/20/2017
Updated: 02/05/2018