Submitted by Elissa Reichstein-Saperstein, Otsego Elementary, New York

Idea posted June 17, 2008

I do a unit like this at least once each year: First, I put the movie on, but the TV is not facing the kids. I ask them, "What do you think the composer is trying to illustrate?", "What's the message of the music?" etc. The questions change according to the group. Kids can either illustrate what they hear/feel or write a brief story or essay.

Then, I show the clip with the volume turned off (on a different day). I package it so they think they are watching something new and not what they heard the week before. I ask about the "feel" of the scenes: Is it exciting, loud, emotional, etc.?

Next time (or later that class), they watch the movie and listen to the sound together. Again, students provide some sort of response (usually written). I have found that "The Snowman," "Fantasia," and the "Goosebumps" movies work well for this lesson.