Activity 3c
C&I 335
Summer, 1998
Lynn Gilmore
Elementary Music Specialist
Springfield Public School District 186
Springfield, Illinois, USA
Ridgely Elementary School
Pleasant Hill Elementary School

Incorporating HyperStudio into a Music Lesson Plan

HyperStudio uses the wonderful variety of information forms on a computer and makes them accessible to virtually anyone with an idea to share. As the students in my fourth grade music classes create HyperStudio stacks about composers of the month (or quarter if this task is too time consuming), they will become the writers and information gatherers. Students have different ways of learning and different ways of expressing themselves. Some find greater understanding through words; others prefer pictures. Some students are more oriented to auditory perception. Everyone uses all of these modes to receive and internalize information, and all the students benefit from having as many communication options as possible when they are composing their own expression of their thoughts and ideas. Through this HyperStudio experience, the students will be active learners. The fun of this activity will be to move beyond the technical details and on to the spinning of new ideas and applications.

Work completed prior to this lesson:

During previous music lessons, students will be given a brief introduction to the composer of the month. The students will have created HyperStudio stacks with the composer of the month as the theme. The buttons that link the stack will be determined by the students, but guidelines will be given by the teacher. Cards in the stack could include:


  • Name of composer
  • Date of birth/death
  • Background history of the musician
  • Family history
  • Jobs
  • Where did/does the artist live
  • Style of music
  • Instruments musician played
  • Famous songs
  • Student-created quiz

Research tools that will be used to create the stack could include teacher-bookmarked Internet sites and CD-ROM encyclopedias. The students, who will already be familiar with HyperStudio from instruction by their classroom teacher, will be able to create cards with text, graphics, and backgrounds; create, connect and edit buttons; and add sound.


SUBJECT: Composer of the Month (music history)

TIME: Two 30 minute music periods (perhaps more to complete testing)

GRADE LEVEL: 4th grade


1. Students will be able to research the composer of the month and discover facts about the artist as well as their music.
2. Students will be able to compose and perform an alternate two measure ending to a four measure melody written by the composer of the month.
3. Students will be able to relate facts about the composer of the month by writing journal entries.


5 computers (4 with HyperStudio and 1 with Grady Profile)
HyperStudio stack previously created by students
4 cassette tape players with headphones

4 pre-recorded cassette tapes with compositions by the composer of the month

staff paper

drawing paper




4 xylophones and mallets


During these two music periods, the students will rotate through four centers which contain activities about the composer of the month. The centers will be a HyperStudio center, a listening center, a composing center, and a journal writing center.
HyperStudio Center: At this station, the students will proceed through a HyperStudio stack that was previously created by fellow fourth grade students. Two students will be at each computer and will be able to choose their own path through the material.

Listening Center: The students will listen to previously recorded cassette tapes with contain famous songs written by the composer of the month. Drawing paper and crayons will be available for them to "draw" what they hear as they listen.

Composing Center: The students will play on the xylophone two measures of a famous phrases of music that was written by the composer of the month. The assignment at this center will then be to write a new two measure ending to complete the phrase.

Journal Writing Center: The students will be given a topic with the composer of the month as the theme, and write an entry in their journals. For example: what was the composer probably thinking about as he wrote this song; what does this song make you think about as you listen to it?


After the students have completed all of the centers, a test will be administered electronically. "Grady Profile" software will be used so students can complete the test at a computer after finishing all of the centers. This software allows the students to enter their name, take the test, and save the results for the teacher. The composition center will also be assessed. Students compositions will need to show knowledge of note values, bar lines, note placement on the staff, and the proper use of composing an "answer" in a "question/answer" phrase of music.

By working together in small groups, the students will increase their communication and cooperation skills. Having the students rotate through centers will allow the teacher to address the diversity of learners. The students will be able to critically evaluate themselves if they choose to take the student-created quiz or self-check in the HyperStudio stack.



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