Welcome to this post about How to use the Super Six in the Music classroom. This third post in the series has sadly been a long time overdue. I had originally started this series in 2014. At that stage I was a couple of years down the Super Six road, and had been on a personal journey of changing my own teaching practice. Half way through 2014 I was successful in a promotion, and this meant a change of schools. The change was a good one, but a different school meant a different focus. My focus on the Super Six had to go on the back burner a little, even though I still used the strategies every single lesson I taught!
My current school has a wide variety of students, but for the overwhelming majority of these students, from Grades 7-12, their literacy skills are considerably below state and national averages. I could explain why this is, but as most of you lovely professionals know, the reasons don’t matter, what matters is what we as teachers do to help our students. So, my renewed interest in the Super Six has begun. As a Faculty Head, I have made it my mission in 2017 to help both staff and students navigate the Super Six strategies. My theory, and those of a lot of very smart educators, is simple – if students understand and comprehend the content, then they have a much better chance of writing about it! The Super Six is absolutely, positively perfect for this!
This post will focus on the strategy of “Predicting”.
For a recap of the Super Six, click here to read more.
The strategy of Predicting is an interesting one. It is a pre-reading strategy that you can use with any sort of text. In my classroom, I use this strategy with my Senior classes every single time we are to complete a listening activity. I will ask them to read the question, look at the information provided, and then start to “predict” what they expect to hear in the music. This technique gets the students “thinking” and they should be recalling or “Making Connections” with everything they know. This is essentially what Predicting is all about – getting students to predict what connections they can make with the text before actually reading it.
PLEASE NOTE – when I use the word “text” please remember that this could mean lots of things – an image, a performance, written word, a musical score, listening to music and even listening to text.
1 Prediction Bingo
This has to be one of my most favourite Prediction activities to do! It is very simple and works really well with any written text. The activity is simple. Before reading the whole text, look at the heading, images and any sub-headings on the page with the class. Discuss what words might be in the text. Ask the students to write down 9 words that they think will be in the text – these cannot be simple words like “the, it, in, on,…”. After they have written down their words, read the text. If they see/hear the word they have on their Prediction Bingo grid they cross it off. At the end of the reading, see who has the most words crossed off – and you have a winner.
I have found that the first time I do this activity we would complete this as a class. It then makes for a good discussion about the words that were or were not included in the text. You can of course make it more difficult by increasing the number of predicted words!
2 Instrument Prediction
This activity comes straight out of my Music Listening Response Sheets and it is a great activity to complete with any grade or age group. For this activity, you read the title of the music and the composer/performer. This is now a good time to discuss what genre they think the music is. Students should be able to tell you what instruments they think will be in the music and why they have come to that conclusion.
While listening to the music students check off when they hear each instrument they have written down. After listening to the music, check for the number of correct or incorrect predictions and discuss.
You can also complete the same activity with a focus on how the Elements of Music might be used in the music!
3 Visualising and Predicting- Scene
This activity combines a couple of different Super Six strategies. Again, like all of the Predicting activities, read all of the information about the music – title, composer/performer etc… Students then focus on what type of Scene for a film that they think this music would suit and draw it. After listening to the music, discuss what the students drew and why. Then discuss what scene this music would best suit and why. Put the music back on and let the students redraw their final scene. This works really well with elementary and middle school students and is perfect when looking at Music in the Movies!
4 Visualising and Predicting – Purpose
This is just like the previous activity, but this time the focus is on what purpose they think the music was composed for and why. I have used Marching Band music for this activity previously, especially when studying genres like Jazz and Rock Music (Civil War, soldiers, World Wars, conscription, etc…) Other types of music that would be great for this lesson could include: National Anthems, Hymns, Spirituals, Work Songs, Sporting Team Songs and even Theme Songs.
5 Predicting Brainstorm
This is a lesson that I mainly use with my Elective students – Grades 9-12. I prefer to use it after we have studied a type of musical genre or composer. As with all Predicting lessons, read all of the information available on the page – titles and composers/performers. The first time I do this lesson, we complete it as a class and we discuss how each of the Elements of Music might be used and record them in the spaces. Then obviously, we listen to the music and have another discussion about how correct or incorrect our predictions were. For any subsequent times this lesson is done, it is completed in small groups and the group records onto one page together.
I have found this a really useful technique to do before students complete a listening activity on their own – it improves their answer every time!
In the Music Listening Response Sheets there are several versions of this same activity with a different focus each time – Music Tension, Unity, Contrast, Variety and more!
Another way to use this activity idea is to use it before performing a new piece of music. This strategy will encourage students to “predict” what types of techniques and musical ideas will be in the piece before they have a go at playing it through.
6 Predict-O-Gram Informative Text
This activity encourages students to think a little deeper into the text, before reading it. I would suggest that you use this after you have completed another Prediction activity previously, this is not a good one to start with!
Students look at all the information on the page before reading it. They should predict some words, what type of information the text will be, and how this information will be useful. At this point discuss what they have already recorded. Then complete the last three questions – what do they think they will learn, what information will not be there and what they think might be interesting about the text. The key to this one is that the student is encouraged to “think”.
When completing this activity, read the text and discuss either as a class or in small groups their predictions. I have found this one a better lesson for older students, and they really need to be guided through the process!
7 Word Predictions – Performance
This is great to do when you are encouraging your students to be critical of their own performances. For this lesson, I like to use either past student performances (of which I have permission to use) OR I will use something from YouTube, it has always depended on the group and their needs. I do use this activity with all my classes from Grades 7-12, just each group will have performances that are targeted to their different ability levels.
The lesson starts like all the other predicting lessons – by having a good “look” at the information available. What can you see? What is the staging/lighting like? What instruments are there? How is the performer dressed? For this part I like to “pause” the start of the performance on the screen. Now the students are to write “words” or musical terms that they think will apply to the performance. You can at this stage ask students to predict certain aspects of the performance – whatever your focus might be at the time.
After watching the performance discuss the predictions. I have found that through this procedure, students will suddenly “get” what you have been trying to tell them about their own performances!!!
8 Predicting Meaning
This is a great activity for any text or music score. This time, the teacher gives the students the 5 terms/words before reading the text. Either as a class, in pairs or small groups the students will discuss and record their predictions of the meaning of the words. After reading, discuss the meanings of the terms and rewrite the correct definition.
9 Predicting Agree/Disagree
As with all the other activities, look at all the information available – text, images, headings, etc… Students should then write down three predicting statements in the space provided. As the text is read, students will tick if their statement agrees or disagrees with the text. After discussing the text, students should rewrite or correct their predicted statements.
This can work with lots of different “texts” – information, scores, images, performances and recordings. I have tended to use this lesson with older students, especially after we have studied a genre/composer.
10 Predicting – Task
This is an activity that I use with every single assignment that I hand out to my students! After I have handed out an assignment, I ask students to read through the requirements of the task. They then complete this page by recording any ideas, processes, steps, tips, tricks and resources that they think they will need in order to complete the task.
After this step is completed by the students, we discuss their predictions and confirm or correct their ideas. This tends to focus students on relevant questions about the assignment and not the trivial, silly or irrelevant “stuff”!
This works really well with any type of assignment that you will be asking students to complete in the music class room – performing, composing, responding and listening.
I do hope that these ideas and activities inspire you in your own music class room. If you would like your own FREE 28 Page Super Six Mini Bundle, click here for details. In every single one of my Units of Work, the Super Six strategies are embedded and ready to use straight away – all the hard work has been done for you. Click the links below for more information on each of the products available in my Teachers pay Teachers store.
Until Next time
Julia from Jooya